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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 


















I Oil I IKY 



Preface by Preston Bradley 


Chicago, Illinois 

Copyright 1956 by Francesca Falk Miller 





The Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Good House- 
keeping, Cosmopolitan, New York Herald, Houston 
Post, Fort Worth Record, San Antonio Express, Waco 
Times Herald, Miami Herald, Palm Beach News, Salt 
Lake City Tribune, Boston Globe, Atlantic City Press, 
Dallas Morning News, Portsmouth (New Hampshire) 
Herald, Long Beach (California) Press -Telegram, 
Ottumwa (Iowa) Courier, Beloit (Wisconsin) Daily 
News, Patterson (New jersey) Morning Call, Bristol 
(Connecticut) Press, Independence (Kansas) Reporter, 
for permission to reprint certain of these poems 
is gratefully acknowledged. 

And also the 


M. Witmark and Sons, National Music Publishers, 
H. T. FitzSimons Company, W. H. Willis Company, 
Arthur P. Schmidt Company, and the Pasadena 
Tournament of Roses Association. 

A Preface and an Appreciation 

It has been said more than once that there are hundreds of 
definitions of art. One could say the same of poetry. Certainly 
it is more than Wordsworth's oft quoted statement that "poetry 
is emotion remembered in tranquility ." Great poetry is fre- 
quently far from being emotion remembered in anything. 

Over the many years of our friendship 1 have often tried 
to analyze the poetry of Francesca Talk Miller. I am convinced 
by any norm of what constitutes great poetry that some of her 
poems will live as long as this language is spoken and written. 
Her poem Immortality is such a poem. I have used this poem 
and many others from her pen in my lectures, sermons, and 
broadcasts. It was read at the services for my loved ones. It has 
found its way into many anthologies and is incised in marble 
on the wall of Meditation Chapel in Memory Park, Salt Lake 
City. I think it is one of the best poems on immortality ever 
written. There are many others of her poems in a wide variety 
of places. This makes it difficult for one to find a particular 
poem when desired. It is thoughtful and considerate of Francesca 
Falk Miller to collect all of her poetry in this one beautiful 
book, and 1 am greatly honored and deeply affected that she 
should ask one who never wrote a line of poetry for an intro- 
duction to the collection of her poems. 

We have shared together in the loss of those dear to us; we 
have worked together in civic and cultural activities in the city 
we both love. 1 have the honor of being her minister. All of 
these years have deepened my appreciation of her friendship 
and have revealed in her creative writing a quality of under- 
standing life such as few people possess. 

It seems to me that one of the most important attributes of 
art is to communicate. When 1 read one of her poems I seem 
to experience something of the mood which the poet had when 
the poem came into being. That is the test of a work of art. 
As with all poets, some of her poems are better than others, 
but that they are all poetry every competent critic, 1 am sure, 
would acknowledge. 

May this book, as it takes its place in the noble gallery of 
poetry, be an enduring monument to a sensitive and creative 
soul. Poetry is the reality of experience. The poet is the histor- 
ian of the soul. The poet retains for us all the experiences of 
life. The genius of the poet preserves the great moments of 
life which otherwise would be lost. To have written an endur- 
ing line of great poetry is to have achieved immortality. Such a 
poet is Francesca Falk Miller. 

Preston Bradley 


part i • Immortality 




The Ruin 

To A Child 

Gloria In Excelsis 

In An Old, Old Style 



The Widow 


In The Park 


Basement In Spring 

On Skid Row 


For Rent 


To A Grandchild 

Late Evening 

White Hands 


The Unknown Soldier 

A Fantasy 


The Court Jester 

The Photographer 

The Bishop 

Night Winds 

Autumn Wine 


There Will Be Other 

Love's Evening 
The Bridge Builder 

To An Old Violin 
My Baby 
Let Life Be Lovely 

Good Old Days 





The Young, Young Men 



With Mary Away 



part 11 • Pink Lightning 

Pink Lightning 



Beauty Never Dies 



The Little Ladies 






Her Kiss 






A Woman In A Garden 



An Old Face 


1 1 



1 1 







Weaver Of Moonbeams 








1 5 




An Island Serenade 



Lady Night 






Your Heroes— And Mine 






Woman's Love For Woman 






Prayer For A New Love 






Fog On The Ohio 





Just Before The Spring 



Wheel Tracks 






Day Break 



"Newspaper Stuff" 









Those Who Go Down 


In Waters 





The Arms Of Sweet Content 


The Patchwork Quilt 


Fog-Horn At Dawn 


Love Is Not Built Of 

The Lap Of The Waves 










My Ship 




Ships That Never Come 


Son Of Vermont 






Songs At Evening 


Your Hands 


On Mother's Day 


The Miracle Of Tears 




Ashes Of Roses 


My Lover And My Friend 


Wee Thing 


The Fickle Light 


In Spain 


The Long Road 


When Roses Are In Bloom 


In Blossom Time 












A Fancy 


Laughing At Play 






Little Ghosts 




The Dream Barge 


Dead Leaves 




part in • The Prodigal 

The Old Clock 


One Night 




Dead Hands 

1 10 

Daughter Of Mine 


On The Trail Of The Gypsy 

I Love You 



1 10 




1 1 1 



The Meeting 

1 12 

Abraham Lincoln 


Forbidden Me 


George Washington 


At Parting 




The Journey 








And Let The World Go By 


Singin' In The Dark 


Attar Of Love 


Just Home 


To My Friend 


The Plant On The 

Dinna Ye Ken? 


Window Sill 


A Water Lily 


The Land Of Might 



Have Been 


The Poet's Requiem 






part iv • Lake of Stars 

I Planted Me A Garden 


Little One 


The Lake Of Stars 


The Land Of Lovers 




This Time O' Year 




Ann Rutledge 

Mother Dear 


An Old Tapestry 

House O' Dreams 

Dear Little Lady 

Journey's End 


Spinning Song 

In An Old Orchard 

Who Gazes On The River 




A Kiss May Be Beauty 

The Dead Christmas Tree 

Love In The Spring 

Unforgotten Laughter 

A Soft Little Song 

Song Of Allah 


Snowflakes At My Window 

A Creed 



A Summer Storm 

My Heart 

The Wind Blows West 



Francois De Villon 



The Strength Of The Year 


Spring's Patchwork Quilt 

God Give Us Rivers 

Would You Remember? 


A Sonnet Of Winter 


Music Of Wings 




1 24 When The Sound Of The 

124 Grinding Is Low 150 

125 Arrogance 150 

126 She Lifted Up A Rose 151 

1 26 I Was Not Aware 1 5 1 

127 A Corner To Tuck Me 

128 Away In 152 

128 On The Street 152 

129 Sea Song 153 
129 When Grandma Sings 154 
!^o The Answer 154 
!30 The North Wind 155 
i 3 T Voice Of A Wild Thing 1 5 6 
1^2 Crossroads 156 
!32 A Father To His Son 157 

New Salem 158 

Mid-summer In A Garden 159 

** On My Last Day 16a 


1 3 , part v • Never Winter 






(To Francesca) 

(To Francesca) 
Never Winter 
I 4° Paderewski 
140 The Trail 
*4 X To Walk Along A Gutter 



*4 2 Song Lyric 

*4 2 Antennae 

J 43 Vision For Passing Years 

*44 Regrets 

x 44 Knitting 

*45 Saturday Night 

145 Life's Lesson 

146 Marriage 

146 Reflection 

147 Golden Wedding 

147 Christ Speaks At Easter 

148 Philosophy 

148 Please! 

149 Another Year 

149 Centennial 1 842-1 942 




Australian Pines 


The Village Visitor 


The Lost Waltz 


The Preacher 


To Mildred Beatty 


The School Teacher 




The Colonial Mother 




The Village Spinster 

21 1 

Christmas In Florida 


The Old Timer 


Palm Beach Cats 


Louisiana Purchase 


A Day In The Southland 






Lewis And Clarke Expedition 


Ballad Of The Barbecue 


The Awakening 


High Fog 






The Black Pirates 




Menace Of The Seas 


Redwood Empire 


Millions For Defense — 


At Sundown 


Free Trade And Sailor's Rights 


New England Winter 


James Madison 


Speaking Of Food 


The Farmer Soldier 


Little Grey Pigeon 


Soldiers Of 181 2 


In The Berkshires 


The Coward 


The Stile 


The "Stay At Home" 






The Windmill 


To The Sea 


April In Vermont 


Song Of The Seamen 


The Covered Bridge 


On The Seas 


Boat Dreams 


The Constitution 


Christmas 1940 


Home Port 


Chin Up, Good Soldier! 1941 


A Little Fleet 


Lambkins 1942 


The Battle Of Lake Erie 


The Holy Child Speaks 1943 


The Mascot Of The Saratoga 


Star Of Gold 1 944 


In Old Vergennes 


Christmas Children 1945 


Battle Of Lake Champlain 


Christmas Peace 1946 


Polly Finlay Crockett 


Dorothy Spottswood Dandridge 


art vi • 1812 In Song And 


Rebecca Heald 




Tumult Of Men 


Fort George 


Chant Victorious 




In The Beginning 


Lundy Lane 


Richard Henry Lee 


British Crossing 


George Washington 




John Hancock 


September 18 14 


Benjamin Franklin 




Roger Sherman 




John Adams 


The Fall Of Fort Mackinac 


Thomas Jefferson 


Fort Marion 


In Times Of Peace 


The Creeks 


Fort Mimms 

In Camp At British Crossing 

March 27, 1814 

The Homesteaders 

French Canoe Song 

Red Deer 

Credit Island 

A Pioneer Wife 

The Ox Cart And Stagecoach 


As In Another Drama 

November 7th, 1 8 1 1 

Peaceful Interlude 

The Fortress 

The Massacre 

August 1 812 

Immortal Doors 

While Children Pla>ed 


256 The New Capitol 274 

257 Moonlight On The Potomac 275 

258 Bladensburg 276 

259 August 24, 1 814 277 

260 Unexpected Company 278 

260 The Burning Of Washington 279 

261 The Death Of Dolly Madison 280 

262 The "Ten Mile Square" 281 

263 The Flag Of 181 2 282 

264 Remembrance 283 

264 Sept. 13, 1 8 14 Fort McHenry 284 

265 The Last Battle 286 

266 The Dead Hero 287 

267 Resignation 288 

268 The Soldier's Last Enemy 288 

269 My Soldier Son 289 

270 In Memoriam 290 

272 Credo 292 

273 Flag Of My Land 294 


Why was I called this limpid, lyric name 
That breathes Italia's vine-encircled sea, 
And those proud women— what were they to mc, 
Whose fairness mouldered long before I came? 
That long procession— beauty; passion; fame! 
The one best loved— ah, none so fair as she, 
That men should lose their souls— da Rimini! 
What have they left behind that I might claim 
From those dim years? How do they play their part 
In my own destiny— with plain, familiar face- 
That I should bear a name that breathes their grace? 
Ah,— missing rose leaves, hid within the bowl! 
They left a touch of Romance in my heart... 
They left the love of Beauty in my soul! 


And there shall come a day... in Spring 
When death and winter 
Loose their chill, white hold 
Quite suddenly. A day of sunlit air 
When winging birds return, 
And earth her gentle bosoms bare 
So that new, thirsty life 
May nurture there. 
That breathless hour... 
So filled with warm, soft miracles 
I bat faith is born anew . 
On such a day... 
I shall return to you! 

You mav not touch, 
For you have thought of me as dead. 
But in the silence lilt believing eyes 
1 owaid the dear infinity 
()1 skies. And listen... 
With yOUI ver\ soul held still... 
For you will hear me on some little hill, 
Advancing with the coming ol the year. 
Not far away... Not dead... 
Not even gone. 

The day will suddenly be filled 

With immortality and song, 

And without stirring from your quiet place, 

Your love will welcome mine... 

Across the little space, 

And we will talk of every lovely thing... 

When I return... in Spring! 


Poems are fragile yellow butterflies 
In summertime. 

Fluttering, elusive, vagrant little things- 
Mere idle rhyme. 

One cannot clasp such restless vagabonds, 
So swift they spin, 

Unless, perchance, you find them safely caught 
Upon a pin! 

Then— with their outspread, multi-colored wings 

For all to see— 

The little butterflies may be enjoyed 

To some degree. 

Now— in like manner— verses may be bound 
Within two covers, 
And help to pass an idle hour or so, 
For poetry lovers. 

So browse a while, but let your fancy reach 
Beyond my pen, 

And, in your vision, see the butterflies 
On wing again! 


My wings are broken? 

Yea, from many a plucking hand, 

That strove to hold me back from Rights 

They could not follow 

From visions that they could not see 

Blinded, as they were, to harmony 
By bitterness and ignorance and strife. 
Prating their smug hvpocrisies ol life, 
Clinging to all who strove to wing the blue. 
Jealous of those who glimpsed the wider view 

My wings are broken torn 

Ah, yes, but 1 have seen the morn 

p from her primrose coverlet of cloud 
And smile upon me gentlv. 
1 have laughed aloud 

\\ ith meadow-larks, and whistled lor the quai 
And scented spicy I em on lonelv trail, 
And listened to invisible choirs 
1 hat chanted in the calm of eventide, 
And dead dreamt 

By my side! 

Broken wings? What matt* 
i hat I have crumpled down 
\\ itii all mv pinions dragging? 

From now on 

1 shall walk willingly with thi 
ly n\ \ ect, 

>ing my feet upon the path 
They deem correct. 

\h, if they only knew , 
1 hat just before 1 sank to earth, 
I caught the view! 


It stands in solitude sublime, 

A pile of crumbling wall. 

The cruel stains or storm and time 

Across the casements sprawl. 

The moon, in pitying dismay 

Sends down her softest light. 

A maimed and broken thing by day, 

Made beautiful by night! 

But patient winds have swept afar 

The grey and sifting dust. 

A soft, green moss has healed each scar. 

And vines conceal the must. 

Long shadows fall across the fen 

And rose-leaves on the sod. 

A ruin from the hands of men, 

Made beautiful through God! 


Now, do your hemming by the inch, 
It will not seem so long, 
And start to hum a little tune 
From some familiar song, 

For if you measure by the yard 

The task seems long and dire, 

When lips are closed, and song is stilled, 

'Tis then, my dear, you tire! 


I paid no fee to enter 
The cathedral or the night. 
Above me, in the star-lit dome, 
Hung chandeliers or light. 

I met no usher at the door, 
The templed space was mine, 
I walked on carpeting or moss 
Down aisles of reverent pine. 

I smelled the secrets of the earth 
As incense dimly swung, 
And lelt the dew upon my brow 
From holy-water flung. 

I read a sermon in the winds 
That heralded the day. 
And listened to recessionals 
That led the night away. 

I heard a choir of birds take wing, 
All chanting in their flight, 
And saw transfiguration 
In the morning's sacred light. 

There were no hidden mysteries, 
No rites to understand, 
But God's communion I partook 
From His abundant hand! 


An old, old house 
In a tangle of weed, 
Like a gay bouquet 
Long gone to seed. 

Long gone to seed 
With its faded blooms, 
While mem'ry stalks 
Through the empty rooms. 

Through the empty rooms 
With their hollow sound, 
And fallen leaves 
Blow over the ground. 

Blow over the ground 
And in at the door, 
With grey mice scampering 
Over the floor. 

Over the floor 
And up the stair, 
Where once a mother 
Rocked her chair. 

Rocked her chair 
With a gentle sigh, 
And sang to her child 
A lullaby. 

A lullaby 

So long forgot, 

That the house now sadly 

Accepts its lot. 


The fair green aisles of peace! 
Where weary feet may rest, 
A balsam forest, dark and cool, 
A fern-bank by a shaded pool, 
And a red sky in the west. 

The long sweet hours of calm! 
When tired eyes may close 
To words of some beloved rhyme, 
To distant note of carol'd chime. 
Or the fragrance of a rose. 

The warm blight hearths <>l home! 
\\ here Straying paths shall end. 
The eager wing ol homing birds, 
A twilight son^ that needs no words. 
And the love of some deal friend. 


I wonder where they are today— 

The letter written with trembling pen. 

The tears we will never shed again, 

The lilting words of forgotten lay 

And the praver we now need never pray? 

Oh, this is where such brave things go— 
The singing cheered a lonely life, 
The letter averted threatened strife, 
The tears have healed a passing woe 
And the prayer was answered long ago! 



I never thought... 

That I should see the lilacs 

Drenched with perfume in the rain, 

And you not there 

To breathe their loveliness. 

I never thought... 

That I should stand beneath 

The whispering trees at eventide, 

And you not share 

Their secrets in the night. 

I never thought... 

That I should meet each dawn 

With tearless eyes and piteous calm, 

And you not near 

To praise my fortitude. 


Green vines must have a place to cling. 
Young birds a nest in which to swing. 
And I— must have a heart to sing! 

Soft night enfolds each star above. 
And shelter waits the homing dove. 
So I— must have a heart to love! 

But blossoms chill in evening dews. 
And passing feet the grasses bruise. 
So I— must have a heart to lose! 




I cannot turn my eyes away 

From lovers on a summer day 

Upon a bench in some green park 

Awaiting coming of the dark. 

Just yesterday I passed a pair 

Of city youngsters sitting there, 

And scraps of bitter words flew by 

Like hail from out a summer sky. 
"Why can't we marry?" "Money, dear." 
"But Tom, you know how much I fear— 

We shouldn't have—" "I know. 

But then, don't go over all that again! 

I might try workin' on some farm." 
"And leave me here?" in quick alarm, 

She showed more frantic fear than sorrow. 
"Aw, well, I may find work tomorrow." 

And then from out love's deep abyss— 
"Come— give a guy another kiss!" 



She pulled him along on his stubby, short legs. 

It clutches the heart when a little boy begs 

For an ice-cream cone or an all-day sucker 

With tears on his cheeks and his lips in a pucker. 

But his mother knew best, she was out buying food 

With ninety-five cents for her starved little brood, 

And she took him along to carry the bread. 

So be brave, little man, and hold up your head! 




Old newspapers piled 
And ashes to sift, 
With screens to put up 
And no one to lift! 

There's a broken rake 
And a carpet soiled, 
Near the garden hose 
That is stiffly coiled. 

There is dust and grime, 
And the air is stale, 
With a long-dead roach 
In the water-pail 



From curb to curb the old man begs, 
Stumbling along on tired, thin legs. 
Rheumy-eyed and hair worn thin, 
Stubble of beard on a trembling chin. 
Heedless of crowds or the city's din. 
Swaying from tipples of cheapest gin. 
Reeking to heaven of vermin and grime 
With a dirty old hand held out for a dime. 
It's the same old sot on the same old beat 
And his curses follow you down the street. 
The end of his day brings a "flop-house" bunk. 
Can you blame him for getting so happily drunk? 
For happily drunk means the County jail, 
With Potter's Field at the end of the trail. 

1 1 



There is nothing to eat 
In the third floor rear, 
And the small, grey room 
Is shadowed with fear. 
There is dust and grime 
And the air is stale, 
W ith mouldy scraps 
In a garbage pail. 
There is rent now due 
And hills unpaid 
The gas shut off 
And the bed not made. 
There's nothing to do 
But walk the street 
On run-down heels 
And blistered feet. 
With a last red touch 
To trembling lips 
And a last brave swing 
To slim, voung hips. 
There is nothing to do- 
E'er virtue dies— 
But to boldly smile 
In a man's hot eyes! 




There may have been in some past day 
A grassy yard for children's play, 
A garden and a swing for dolls, 
A clothes -line strung with fol-de-rols 
There might have been a lamp to light 
With curtains shutting off the night. 

Today the grass is brown and dead. 
A neighbor's goat is being led 
And staked within a fence that lags 
Among the refuse, cans and rags. 
While in the window, idly swung, 
A sign "For Rent" is grimly hung. 



Protestant, Catholic, Greek and Jew, 
Each in their favorite temple pew. 
One with a rosary, One with a book, 
All with a sigh and a pious look. 
Each to his own faith firmly true- 
Protestant, Catholic, Greek and Jew. 

Weekly worshippers— young and old, 

All that the modern temples hold. 

Some with a bowed head, some with a stare, 

All with a hurriedly whispered prayer. 

Just for today repentance torn, 

Then back to their sins on Monday morn! 



Little child hands.... 

So sort, so sweetly white, 

A brave young ship 

Awaits lor you to pilot 

Through the night. 

Know you that this Trail lunjue 

Must hear your cargo Ear, 

\\ ith but your hands to guide the wheel 

Toward the harbor star? 

Little child heart.... 

I cannot raise the sail 

I i speed this Fragile ship ahead 

Before Life's 

\ ar\ tng gale 

leep experience <>i love 

1 hat 1 might wish to share. 
Can keep the troubled waters calm 

Or paint horizons lair. 

Little child lite.... 

\\ hen 1 have sailed nn ^eas. 

You will l>e riding on the \v.i\- 

()i greater years than these. 

Pray, Oh, my dear, that in your veins 

Will run brave blood and true, 
Lor those who share your voyaging 

And those... who follow you! 



I have found promise 
In a single flower, 
Not asking garlands 
Or a wealth of bloom. 
I have heard melodies 
Above life's din 
And walked with my own 
Dreams, in calm, alone. 

I have found joy 

In gracious love of friends, 

So did not need 

The plaudits of the crowd; 

True friends, who met 

My dreams with visions 

Of their own, and shared 

In silence, satisfied. 

I have known tears 
But dried them quickly 
With brave smiles, 
Bidding beloved ones 
To venture slowly 
On their final path, 
That I may not be 
Very far behind. 

So now, I rest my soul 

In sunset's final glow. 

Not dreading mysteries 

Of coming night , 

For stars above will give 

Sufficient light. And with 

Life's dear companions just ahead, 

I shall not feel alone! 

l 5 


White hands stretched out unto a dying God 
On Calvary's tree. White, useless hands 
That supplicate for trivial, foolish gilts! 

I look about and sec an army host 

Of hands! Hands, hard with constant toil, 

Where in the rockv Held the broken trench, 

They labor with earth's stubborn soil. 

I see the hands of seamen, knotted, worn, 
1 lard palms, reek ol salt and sea. 
I see red hands, that work .it furnace blast; 
Stained hands, that delve in chemistry. 

Hands bruised from raising these surrounding walls, 

That shelter me through idle days. 

Hands black irom mines, that 1 may SOrtly stretch 

White fingers 0U1 toward a bla/e. 

Tired hands, from weaving lustrous tapesti 

That I ma\ revel in their hue. 

Pricked fingers, stitching that I may adorn 

I his body, with lair raiment new. 

Turned 1 away Irom all that seething mass. 
I, who had naught to offer I lim 

In fair return, save empty, idle hands 

And hollow faith and vision dim! 

Turned back upon that thorny path, where those 
Who love and serve their fellow-men 
And suffer most, trudge ever on and on, 
There, humbly, to begin again. 


To work that I may bear a calloused palm; 
To see my fingers wearing thin 
In servitude; to let the sun and storm 
Of life, beat on my tender skin; 

To bruise my hands in easing other's pain; 
To spread them wide in charity : 
To bear life's nail-prints in my willing flesh 
As He, who died a Deity. 

Then shall I dare to kneel 

Before an altar rail! 

Then may my hands— no longer white— reach out 

To touch the Holy Grail! 


Forgiveness is a lovely, living thing! 

It steals upon us in the hours of night. 

In healing quiet darkness, when the flight 

Of warring bitterness takes sudden wing. 

We dimly wonder at each cruel sting 

We thought so barbed with hatred's sullen blight. 

And soon there comes the sense that all is right.. 

Which tranquil meditations always bring. 

Then, when advancing couriers of day 

Break through the east to sweep the dark away, 

Forgiveness, born of fortitude and prayer, 

Is waiting, smilingly, beside us there. 

And in the still, sweet dawn we hear above, 

The melody of understanding love. 



I lie unknown 

Beneath this coverlet 

Of marble cold, 

Surrounded by a silent somber 

Host of men— great men— 

\\ hose names are old— so old. 

I would not feel 

So utterly alone 

If I could have my name 

Upon a little stone! 

I lie unmourned 

Beneath these heavy wieaths 

Plaeed lor the dead, 

While Far away tnj humble mother 

Dwells, not knowing where her son 

I Lis laid his bead. 

I would not leel 

This pitiful unrest 

If I could have her place 

Blue pansies- op. my bn 

I I \\l \SY 

Night spread her blankets made of cloud 

Upon a mattress blue, 

And pillows stuffed with downy mist 

That fell from evening dew. 

She lit a few pale stars for lamps 

And hung them overhead, 

Then turned the warm, soft covers back 

And put the sky to bed. 



The river said.... 

"There is no sea, 

But I am swift and very strong, 

So come with me, you timid rills 

From out the distant purpled hills 

And I will carry you along!" 

The evening spoke.... 

"There is no day, 

But only softened shades of night, 

So when my silver stars burn pale 

Rejoice with me in moon-lit vale. 

Grey dawn will bring no happier light!" 

Man laughed and cried.... 
"There is no God, 
But just myself— my will to be— 
An atom with a passing span 
Of life, that ends where it began, 
In formless, black obscurity!" 

But soon the river 

Reached the sea, 

To sink upon its bosom broad, 

And evening into day was swept, 

While man— when life was waning, crept 

Back to the waiting arms of God! 




He hangs around the courts 

Sees trembling, frightened lips 

Red with the color of hibiscus 

Known to warmer clime; 

A red so thickly painted 

To hide pallor, that the crimson paste 

Flecks off upon white teeth. 

Sees tragic eyes... alive with fear 

That some swift stroke of fate 

Might intervene— and halt deliverance. 

Sees fingers twisted, tense, 

Blue- white from nervousness, 

Where once a wedding band 

Had slipped upon the tender flesh 

To make twain— one. 

Sees signatures penned eagerlv 

On papers rustling from haste. 

Hears voices change from panic note 

To clarion tones of victory. 

All this he notes 

And laughing... 

Jingles all his silver bells 

In mockery! 

He crouches like a strange huge bugs 

Carrying his own antennae. 

Following at the heels 

Of gayly laughing groups 

Or single girls cringing from crowds, 


Alone with their own memories. 

In court-room, restaurant, and store, 

Or even in the shelter of a church, 

Piercing both sanctuary 

And the public market place, 

To set his trap, 

To catch his victim 

In the light of sun or powder-flash, 

To grasp a slyly mirrored truth 

With lens inanimate. 

Fortunate she... 

Whose loveliness and youth 

Walks circumspect, 

And is not caught 

Within the passion 

Of a lover's arms! 


The Bishop was not old in years, 

But grey, as troubled snows upon Mount Rose, 

From battling for his flock. 

He knew the pain that comes to shepherds 

When one lamb is lost 

Or maimed, or scarred. 

He prayed unto the Virgin 

For the broken ones. 

He saw the beauty of young womanhood 

Grow hard and seered 

From love defiled; 

The trace of tears from pain; 

The brittle aftermath 

Of disillusionment. 


He saw the soft sweet flesh 

Of rounded breasts, 

Where baby lips had clung, 

Rise in tempting beauty 

From a low-cut gown; 

He saw red lips 

Grow warm and red from wine, 

Then lift to court man's touch; 

He saw bold eyes, 

That once had dropped in young confusion 

At a maiden's vow, 

Seek admiration flagrantly. 

fie saw all this 

And wondered at the gentle calm assurance 
Of the Virgin Mother, 
As she smiled serenely 

On his prayers! 

N /(,/// WINDS 

The night lias scattered all the joj 

That golden day held dear. 
There is no beauty left to see- 
No music left to hear. 

Pale clouds, like sad and sombre veils, 
Have dimmed the moon's fair beams, 
While winds have fanned the star-light out- 
And left the world— but dreams. 



From out the summer's rich and hoarded store 
Is spilled upon the air autumnal wine. 
And scattered with the needles of the pine 
Lie scarlet garments which the sumach wore. 
Soft tapestries are spread on woodland floor 
Of deep grey moss and dying columbine, 
While far above eternal stars still shine 
On empty forest aisles forevermore. 

But gaily runs the water of the rill, 
And softly drifts the smoke upon the hill, 
So join the dance to Indian Summer's tune 
And close your heart to reminiscent June. 
Drink deep of Autumn, e'er a Winter's cup 
Is filled with icy draught for you to sup! 


The proud and tender meaning of a 
Young bride's wedding band, 
The sweet and fragrant creases 
In a baby's dimpled hand. 

A picket fence around a house 
With gabled eaves above, 
The circle of that unseen cord 
Which binds two hearts in love. 

A puff of grey and drifting smoke 
From evening's choice cigar, 
And golden ring around the moon 
Set with a diamond star. 



There will be other Calvaries, 
As on that Holy Hill, 
There will be new Gethsemanes 
Where earth-pain binds us still. 

There will be wounds in riven sides, 
\\ hen bombs' red furies burst, 
And nail-prints on the hands of men, 
And crowns of thorns— and thirst. 

There will be women kneeling 
At foot of some denr cross, 
And pale madonnas bravely 
Accepting each new loss. 

There will be weary waiting 
Until the morning breaks, 
When over all the war-torn earth 
A holy peace await 

There will be fires new kindled 
And nations newly born, 
And tombs of night will open 
Upon a calm, free morn. 

There will be tears and laughter 
And memories to save, 
For never can the power of Love 
Be held within a grave. 

There will be Paschal mornings 
\\ hen stones are rolled away, 
For— from each Calvarv on earth 



I hold you in the dusk. A deeper bliss 

Of nearness, than in noon-day's brilliant rays, 

A closer comradeship in twilight's haze, 

As if Life's day had found its joy remiss 

And touched the evening hour with passion's kiss. 

Life seems so safe, so sure. Its spendthrift ways 

Are softened, since the rush of levered days, 

With purple shadows veiling each abyss. 

Oh, let me speak my love to you this night! 
Before my lips are cold and stilled of song, 
So it may comfort you when hours are long, 
When earth is hushed, when slow the ebbing tide. 
What matter if the dawn be not in sight? 
Just so we meet the darkness side by side! 


I was about to boast, so all the world 

Might come to see the masterpiece 

Created by my brain and hands. 

A thing of tragic beauty hung, 

Grim lace against the heavens swung. 

To bid my fellow creatures see 

How work of mine, through sweat and toil, 

Could even raging torrents span, 

Impervious to frost or flood. 

Stupendous work of super-man! 

Oh, God! What arrogance was mine! 
Before I spoke the boastful words, 
I saw, with stunned and humbled eyes, 
A rainbow— spanning this poor earth- 
Bridging infinity of skies! 



Send me not formal wreaths 

Of ravished flowers, 

That will at best survive 

A few sad hours, 

But let them live for me 

In garden bed. 

Why cut their beauty down 

When I am dead? 

Send me a living plant 
Of leaf and bloom, 
Which by its very life 

\\ ill banish gloom, 

So that those gathered near, 

Stranger or friend, 

May know by living things 

Lilc has DO end. 


A tawny leopard... 

Stretched at sandaled feet 

Of Egypt's queen, 

Gazing with mild contempt 

On cringing, bleeding slave. 

A noble beast, rose-garlanded 

And sleek, held captive 

By some subtle bond 

Twix cat and woman. 

Fangs that could sink 

Deep into bone, and tear apart, 

If one looked with desire 

Upon the perfumed body 

Of his royal mistress. 


A Persian cat... 

High on a window ledge, 

Gazing with cold green eyes 

Of jade, upon the street. 

A cat with royal pedigree, 

With ribbons won for silken fur 

And lordly sweep of tail. 

Majestic; arrogant; 

As if he knew his value 

In the marts of men. 

Beauty, poise, and grace, 

But armed with claws of steel 

For any human hand 

Save his devoted mistress. 


Oh, had I been in tune with life, 
Like some old violin, 
Awaiting touch of master-bow 
To speak my soul within. 

To welcome work, to challenge fear, 
To smile when hours seem long, 
So, when a Master touched the strings 
My voice would lift in song. 

But trivial cares and passing aims 
Have shadowed radiant noon, 
And lost the golden notes for me, 
So I am... out of tune. 

If I had filled my days with joy 
From harmonies within, 
Then given music to the world... 
Like some old violin. 



Before the cool swift twilight fades to grey, 
An evening bowl of ruby wine is filled, 
Then tipped on distant hills and redly spilled, 
Till every vale is stained with carmined spray. 
Above tall trees that catch the sun's last ray, 
Where joyously the myriad birds have shrilled 
And suddenly are secreted and stilled, 
A young moon speeds the Fast-departing day. 

O, night,— rest on our lives as on the earth, 
And send the cooling peace of deep content 
I hat follows when the heart is reverent. 
Blot out each grievance life can ill afford 
And to all beauty grant a second birth, 
To keep our straying souls in sweet accord. 


Little specks of blue,— 
Some folks call 'em eyes,— 
Mother knows they're simply 
Pieces from the skies. 

Little streaks of red,— 
Some folks call 'em lips,— 
Mother knows the scraps fell off 
Where the sunset dips. 

Little wisps of gold,— 
Some folks call it hair,— 
Mother knows a sunbeam 
Caught and melted there. 



Let Life be lovely! 

Let Life have its way. 

It is not bound by spheres 

Nor timed by mortal day. 

Give love the reins; 

Stem not a single tide; 

Let song-birds wing their way; 

Let petals open wide. 

Let Life be kindly... 

Neither kill nor maim 

A joyous living thing 

That power of love could tame. 

Think not on sorrow, 

Anguish, sin or death; 

Welcome experience 

With each courageous breath. 

Give Life your trust... 
Though all the rest may fear. 
That which love grants to you 
Is all you need hold dear. 
Look up to stars— 
Your own horizons broad- 
Live lovely! And your heart 
Will cry-Why THIS is God! 



We never see a broom or chopping-bowl— 
The vacuum and mixer took their place, 
And slacks or shorts have come upon the scene 
To push aside soft ruffled frills and lace. 

Today a blush is long-outmoded art, 
And kisses are defiled by lipstick red. 
We often watch a mouth refurbished new 
And wonder if true passion could be dead? 

Oh, bring us back the creak of old porch swing 
\\ here lovers sat and timidly caressed. 
Bring back the tin bath tub, the double bed. 
The lowered, modest shades when we undressed. 

Bring back the clip-clop of the plodding nag, 
\\ bich drew the family doctor's ancient r, 
\\ hen husky babes were always born at home 
And families, unashamed, were always big. 

It brings a homesick longing for the past— 
Those dear old iashioncd days ol j ar, 

(Good Gosh! The radio tells it's dinner time. 
I'll have to unfreeze all our food, I fear!) 



The Drama of Life is a passing show, 
With the author back in the aisles' last row. 
Success may smile on a favored few, 
So we wait with trembling our entrance cue. 

Some roles are grave, while some are gay, 
Some costumes red and others grey, 
We go along without much fuss, 
And speak the lines that were given us. 

A stellar part is the common goal, 
We strive from birth for a leading role. 
Plaudits and praise are the coveted food, 
And the rest of the cast seem weak and crude. 

But the play's not long and the end draws near, 

The audience leaves with a furtive tear. 

Our make-up shams are wiped away, 

And footlights fade at the close of the play. 

An emptied house— a vanished cast— 
The final curtain is falling fast. 
The prompter closes the last act's page, 
And Death sits watching the darkened stage. 



I stood where the sunset reddens 

The countryside hill and field, 

Where the somnolent forest circled 

Like a grim protecting shield, 

And my heart beat fast with rememb'ring 

The strength of resistless flood, 

As I seemed to hear drums in the distance, 

And thought of their young, young blood! 

I walked through shattered farmlands 
In the soft still hours of morn, 
Where shells of a long-past warring 
Had left earth's bosoms torn, 
And my heart grew faint with misgiving, 
As I seemed to hear again 

The mutter of echoing cannon 

And shrank from their young, young pain! 

I looked above to the blueness 

That should have been free and fair, 

And heard the droning of motors, 

Gray vultures filling the air, 

And my heart was caught in swift terror, 

Like a sob in a woman's breath, 

As I watched planes roaring above me 

And wept for their young, young death! 


(mary todd Lincoln) 

The house was so lonely 

With Mary away, 

He roamed through the silent rooms 

Empty and grey, 

There might have been illness 

Or drudgery drear, 

With brief, bitter scoldings 

When Mary was near, 

For life is not perfect, 
Comes sorrow and pain 
To blot out the joy, like 
A swift summer rain. 
Let scoffers deride them, 
And enemies prey 
On the quiet affection 
That grew with each day. 

Oh, "Man of the Ages" 

We knew not your heart, 

But believe that you loved her, 

Sincere from the start, 

And all through war's burdens 

To death's final day, 

Would have found life more tragic 

With Mary away! 



So comes the storm! 
Crashing from out stupendous space 
And heralded with cymbal's blare, 
While fingers weave in glistening lace 
Their cruel patterns on the air! 

Storms pass their fury sweeps apart, 

And leaves the night at rest and still, 

With fading echoes of the fray 

Pink Lightning dancing on the hill! 

So, Life, send Love! 

Accompanied by no wild flash 

Of brilliance 'cross the heavens rent, 

That whips the heart with flaming lash.. 

Swift come and oft-time swiftly spent. 

Ah no, send Love in gentle garb, 
That leaves the soul serene and still, 

Controlled and colorful and sale.. 

Pink Lightning dancing on the hill! 


I doubt that beauty ever dies. 
The rainbow fades, but not till skies 
New-washed, are once again ablaze 
With soon returning sunshine rays. 

The rose may bloom, then wither fast, 
But still its attar scent may last, 
Like drying petals in a bowl, 
To keep its memory in the soul. 



The blossoms of old-fashioned gardens seem 
The ghosts of little ladies, quaint and gay, 
Who courtesied and smiled the hours away 
So long ago. Can you not see the gleam 
Of rich and old brocades? And while they beam 
Upon us, in their silent, knowing way, 
Into the arms of lover-winds they sway, 
As if they tripped a minuet in dream. 

I'm sure the holly-hocks have hoop-skirts wide, 
And peonies flaunt ruffled petticoats, 
And pansies tie gay bonnets at their throats, 
While daffodils wear yellow shawls that blow. 
But all have little waist-lines, snugly tied, 
These gentle lady ghosts of long ago! 


Gaunt, grey hemlocks above the snow, 
Like altar candles set in a row 
On a border of frosty lace. 

Mountain-ash with its berries of blood. 
River-banks scarred from many a flood 
And ice on its frozen face. 

Primrose moon in a broken sky, 
Rustle of unseen wings on high, 
And lambs in an early fold. 

Your eyes are grey as a wood-dove's wing, 
Your voice is the promise of early spring 
To free my heart from the cold! 



She kissed me! 

Like petals falling from a rose, 

So soft. 

Like summer fields where sunshine glows, 

So warm. 

Like poppies, nodding in repose, 

So light. 

Life still runs on with throbbing veins, 

But always one sweet thought remains 

She kissed me! 

She kissed me! 

Before the world all unafraid, 

So brave. 

With lips that sang the vow she made, 

So true. 

As fingers on a harp-string laid. 

So fair. 

Beneath her veil of bridal lace, 

Lifting a gentle star-eyed face 

She kissed me! 

She kissed me! 

And at that touch all trials known, 

So drear. 

Scattered as leaves in autumn blown, 

So far. 

I drew from her sure faith my own, 

So weak. 

Thus year on year, adown life's page, 
Through fire of youth and calm of age. 
She kissed me! 


She kissed me! 

With death's first dew upon her lip, 

So grey. 

Before faint winds could waft the ship, 

So frail. 

Sailing alone on her eternal trip, 

So calm. 

Will she return from ports unknown, 

Lifting her dream-face to my own 

And kiss me? 


I love to think 

That after I have planted each small seed, 

And watched my garden grow 

Into that lovely, living thing 

That's formed of light and love and spring, 

That though I cannot wait 

To see the year's reward, 

There will be someone of my very own— still here, 

When other hands than mine 

Shall pluck my blossoms dear. 

I love to think 

That after I have gathered patiently 

A cargo full and fair, 

From every source, and see with pride 

The treasures reach my vessel's side, 

That though I cannot wait 

To see the voyage through, 

There will be someone of my own— to grasp the oar, 

When other hands than mine 

Shall bring my barque ashore! 



I know the fairest garden, with paths that wind about, 
Encircled by a little hedge to warn the stroller out. 
But it is not too high, I've found, through all my idle hours, 
To keep such wistful eyes as mine from looking at the flowers. 

And there a gentle woman walks, with pruning-knife and gloves, 
To minister in little ways unto the blooms she loves. 

Her touch is light on leaf and bud, her face is all aglow, 

A garden is a lovely thing— when someone loves it so! 

I would I had a garden too, with little children there, 
And someone walking by their side with sunlight on her hair. 
I'd love to see her touch my flowers and guide the little feet, 
And teach them to grow strong and tall, and keep their laughter 

To prune away each little fault, with wise and tender care. 
'Twould keep my garden beautiful— with such a woman there! 
For I have learned from growing flowers and sweetly scented 

That a woman in a garden, must be God's idea of home! 


It is mellowed and soft as an apple's cheek 

That has ripened and lain in the sun. 

There are tiny, fine furrows weaving across 

Where the seaming of life has been done. 

It is brown and weathered, wrinkled and scarred, 

But it's beautiful somehow or other, 

A dear old face, 
A rare old face, 
The face of somebody's mother! 


There are eyes as blue as pale, dim stars 
That peer from the years behind them, 

Where treasures of wisdom lie buried deep 

If you're only attuned to find them. 

There is wholesome counsel and wise advice, 

That gentleness cannot cover, 

In the mild old eyes, 

The kindly eyes, 

The eyes of somebody's mother! 

There's a smile of peace on the tremulous lips 

From the memory of kisses long-gathered. 

A smile that is sweetened by tears she has shed 

And the storms of life she has weathered. 

There's a stamp of pain in each scar of time, 

But courage has softened all other, 

On the sweet old lips, 

The sensitive lips, 

The lips of somebody's mother! 

I call it a treat to sit by her side 

And bask in the beauty she lends me. 

A beauty fined down to the spirit of things, 

Which there in her presence attends me. 

For in her calm face all the problems of life 

Seem forgotten somehow or other, 

That fine old face, 

That beautiful face! 

The face of somebody's mother 



She greets you with a pair of eager hands 
Outstretched in hearty welcome, kindly; hale; 
Without apology for garments grey, 
Or sand-swept tresses, ruffled in the gale. 

You need but look into her steady eyes 

To meet the calm assurance of her will, 

To know the strength that dominates her soul, 

And feel the power that drives her onward still. 

So does she welcome you with brave, young smile, 

I bat seems to plead—"} lave patience with me, pray! 

For I have visioned what I may become 

My lace is set toward that destined day!" 


What does it matter alter all 

That skies sometimes are grey? 

Dawn breaks: and there is always promise 

In another day. 

But this I ask— through dreary mist 

That rises from long years— 

That I may always see the blue 

Shine bravely through your tears! 

What does it matter then, my heart, 

That joys are flown so soon? 

We cannot hope to always hold 

This bit of summer's noon. 

I dare not pray that day be fair 

For every weary mile, 

But that I may still see your love 

Shine bravely through your smile! 



Life's a pair of shining shoes, 
Proudly stiff and new. 
You put them on and strut about 
As all the others do. 

They chafe your tender skin a bit, 
And rub your toe or heel, 
But you just smile and stalk ahead 
And smother all you feel. 

You polish them most carefully 
Each tiny marring scratch, 
And if a sin breaks forth some day, 
You hide it with a patch! 

But when you're older oh, my dear! 

That pair so easy grows. 

They never rub, and there is room 

To wiggle all your toes. 

You plod along in sheer delight 
On any path you choose, 
And pity those who've just put on 
Life's brand-new pair of shoes! 


If I were a weaver of moonbeams, 
And you a moth in the night, 
I'd spin a web of enchantment 
E'er you could tremble in flight. 
Your velvet wings I would cover 
With threads from moonlight above, 
Until you were wrapped in its silver, 
Caught fast in the weave of my love! 



You touched the keys 

Immediately the air was filled 

With throbbing whispers, fragrantly distilled 

From falling rose-leaves. 

Loud crash of chords, 

Symbols of triumph! 

Changing to subtle harmonies 

Suggesting tender lips 

Timid at first, and wavering, 

But at last set fire 

In perfect cadence with the heart's desire. 

Then suddenly beside me rose 

Two women. 

One laughing bitterly, 

A ghoulish laugh discordant, flippant, light. 

The other rushing past ran sobbing, sobbing, 

Out into the night! 


Into her arms they laid me, newly born, 
And those who stood beside her said she smiled 
With that same holy smile that angels wear. 
She loved me from my birth, her little child. 

Forgotten were her hours of agony. 

Forgiven, Life, for even' cruel pain. 

"She smiled," and trembling, drew her baby close 

And there a Mother-love was born again! 



Ragged clouds in a sullen sky, 

Where wild geese fly. 

Winding roads through a matted brush, 

Where weeds grow lush. 

Flaming tatters of flowers remain, 

Their late leaves spattered with vivid stain 

And torn by rain! 

Broken rushes droop in the rill, 

Lifeless and still. 

Withered stalks in a ravished field, 

Worn with its yield. 

Harvest moon and burnished sun. 

Autumn's a ragged, battered one! 



Arching fronds of the huisatch tree, 
A distant gleam of the sapphire sea, 
And the purple and grey of dusk. 

Madrona leaves of the palest green, 
Bamboo-stalks with their polished sheen 
And the air with its scent of musk. 

A tropical bird on a lazy wing, 

A trailing vine where we sit and swing, 

Forgetful of time or space. 

The touch of your lips is a crimson flamc ; 
Your face is a flower in an ebony frame, 
And love is the song of your race! 



She gathers in her sunset gown 

Of crimson, mauve, and gold, 

Then covers it with robe of blue 

In clinging, velvet fold. 

Deep blue, that whispers mystic things. 

A touch a kiss a sigh, 

A blue that's buttoned in with stars 
Across a midnight sky. 

And there she rests, while nightingales 

Proclaim her subtle charms, 

Soft nestled in the moon's embrace 

As in a lover's arms. 

Soon must she leave her silvery couch, 

The velvet robe withdrawn. 

And lend to morning's breeze her sighs, 

1 ler blushes to the dawn! 


Shall 1, when the day i i > clone. 
And the dark is near. 
Litter with my failing breath 
Prayers of those who fear? 

Ah, no! Let the setting sun, 
Dying in the West, 
Leave me peacefully attuned 
1 \ in_; on your breast. 

Clinging only to your hands, 
'Cross the dark abyss. 
Love, absolve me by your touch! 
Sign me with your kiss! 

4 6 


(memorial day) 

If we could have so much of love— 
The love that's strong and fine— 
We would not need to use the words, 
"Your heroes and mine!" 

We would not need to set our dead 
Upon a separate shrine, 
But place them proudly in a row— 
Your heroes and mine! 

Yes, place them proudly side by side, 
Knowing, in plan divine, 
They are so placed in God's great sight! 
Your heroes and mine! 


Gloves, darned at every finger 

Little criss-crosses of wrinkles. 

Shoes, polished carefully 

And inked in the cracks. 

Clothes, flaunting their age 

By shine and ravelled edges. 

Bonnet, out of date, pathetic. And then- 

A voice! So low-pitched and gentle, 
That one is reminded 
Of distant chimes; of quiet streams; 
Or the note of a violon-cello. 

A shabby, little, old lady, gently born. 


I wonder if she knows 

That when the morning dances 
Through her opened door 
Gowned in a yellow sunbeam; 
When arduous tasks 
Her hands employ, 
And small perplexities her thoughts, 
I wonder it she knows 
I wish her strength, 
And fortitude, and cheer. 
To hear her safely— bravely- 
Through the da\ ! 

I wonder if she knows 

That when the darkness draws 
Deep sable curtains 'round her couch, 
1 hat I— another woman— understands 
\\ hafl every weary hour has meant, 
And that my love 
Enfolds her as she sleeps. 
And presses tender kisses 
On tired eyes, 

And that soft-whispered prayer 
Goes with her to the moon-lit realm 
Of dreams! 


The moon has seen 

So many things 

On this old, foolish earth, 

She must be tired 

Of human ills, 

Of life and death and birth. 

4 8 

She must be weary 
Or our wars, 
Of grief; of useless pain, 
But still- 
She patiently forgives 
And smiles on us again. 

I wonder if 

In darkened sky, 

She feels a deep disgrace, 

And draws a ragged 

Shawl of cloud 

Across her tear-stained face. 


Keep me from every word that might defile 
The sudden welcome springing of a smile, 
And let no cloud of doubt or hurt arise 
To blot the stars of gladness from our skies. 

Teach me true tolerance of other views 
Contrary to my own, that I may use 
This contact of another's mind and life 
To quell all differences that harbor strife. 

Let me forgive— if so I'm called to do- 
That I may earn a swift forgiveness too, 
And let me show by simple little things 
What sacrifice and sendee really brings. 

Life is so brief for harvests we mav reap, 
Show me new ways of love, that I may keep 
This miracle alive unto the end. 
Help me, oh God, to merit this new friend! 



A patch of yellow, spattered from the rain, 

But bravely gay, 

Where butterflies, like bits of cotton-down, 

Alight and sway. 

A clump of purple blossoms sweet, 

A splash of red beneath our feet, 

One sees them every day 

They're weeds! 

A grimy urchin on the city's curb, 

Whom crowds pass by. 

A group of ragged lads, that fill the air 

With noisy cry. 

A baby, thinly clad and pale, 

A girl whose lover lies in jail, 

They live... they seed... they die... 

These weeds! 

But there's a beauty underneath the dust 

Of passing feet, 

And there's a loyalty that's born 

On crowded street, 

And there's a love that laughs at pain, 

As wayside flowers accept the rain, 

A fearless love that finds life sweet 

In weeds! 



White mist from Southern bayou; from cottonland; from swamp, 

Rising, grim and hoary, with aging monarch's pomp; 

Rising soft and silvery, like woman's subtle veil, 

Adrift in lazy languor across lush meadows pale. 

Thick mist from Northern mountains; from great, wild, restless 

Chill as the early darkness before the dawning breaks, 
Drifting in stately silence o'er prairie's wide expanse; 
Drifting ahead to welcome the Southern hosts advance. 

What are these grey battalions that rise on either side? 
Great ranks of vanished armies that now in silence ride. 
The armies of the Blue-coat— the armies of the Grey- 
Now meeting at the River with all difference laid away! 

On, on they come in silence, across the low-pressed grass, 
No mortal eye can vision their raiment as they pass, 
No mortal ear may harken to ghostly roll of drum,— 

Only the tears of memory to greet them as they come! 
Dear ghosts of Appomattox; of Vicksburg; of Bull Run. 
From fields of Chickamauga,— blood stained beneath the sun, 
They're marching on together at the Mason-Dixon line; 
They're marching now in concord to the tune of "Auld Lang 

In shadowy, silver vapor they move in solemn pride, 

And softly intermingle along the River's side. 

To some— 'tis but dim stretches of early fog and dew, 

To those whose eyes are keener, 'tis the dear old Grey and Blue! 

But now the fog is lifting her long discarded shrouds,— 
The Civil War's battalions are mounting to the clouds. 
They march away together— the last Roll-call begun, 
And leave the old Ohio a-smiling in the sun. 

To Ralph G. Nexvman Founder of the Civil War Round Table 



I do not care to touch those things 

That soil the lips— the heart. 

I would not wish my loveliest dreams 

Sold in the public mart. 

Not that I dread avenging gods 

Nor fear a threatened hell, 

But that by courting ugliness 

I'd lose fair beauty's spell. 

I could not live with sordidness, 
Vulgarity or shame, 
I love the clean, the fine, the true, 
And undented name. 
I would not keep from sin because 
'Twas right and dutiful, 
But just because— in my own eyes- 
Sin is not beautiful! 


A whispered secret in the winds that pass; 

Dull growing-pains in every blade of grass 

Ruts gilded in the road by rising sun 

Tree branches aching with new life begun 

Round, fat cocoons and robin nests that swing... 
Earth sunk in travail of a coming spring. 

A maiden standing at an open door, 

Her slim young shadow slanting 'cross the floor. 

Eyes blue with youth and wistful with desire, 

As first, pale flames from smold'ring greenwood fire 

Arms made to hold wee things that fondly cling, 

And breasts like warm sweet earth before the spring. 



Wheel tracks 

Forever going past my door! 
Stretching— as twin, brown ribbons- 
Into a waiting distance. 
Slipping slowly— like liquid metal- 
Over the rim of the horizon. 

Forever going going 

But never returning. 

Never bringing back romance, 

Or tales of adventure, 

From out the mystery of distance.. 

the mystery of things 

That have passed by forever! 

Wheel tracks vagabond trails.... 

Forever going by my door 
In maddening silence, 
Then disappearing! 


Quaint and lovely little maid 
With your placid gaze, 
Blossoming on ivory 
Flower of other days. 

Neath your chill serenity 

Tell me— did you know 

Throb of heart and passion's kiss 

In that long ago? 

Art has Mona Lisa fair, 
History the Sphinx, 
You hold more of mystery 
Than man really thinks. 



The world is sweet to those who wake 
To see the dawn of morning break. 
An early morn, all cool and still, 
With little clouds above the hill. 

To hear across the clovered lea 
The call of insect, thrum of bee, 
The chattered matins of the wrens, 
The brooding clucking of the hens. 

To see the phantom of the dawn, 
Shy as a cloistered woodland fawn, 
Spring from the mists and speed away 
As victor Sun rides forth at day! 

I feel it shame to lie abed 
With so much glory overhead. 

This mystery of nature's birth 

The dawn of one more day on earth! 

For he who wakes may freely share 
A worship greater than a prayer, 
And— in the early morn abroad— 
May intimately walk with God! 


Scribble and scratch, 
Blue pencil or red, 
Flattery brazen, 
Modesty dead. 

Pitiless raking 

Of hearts over coals, 


Till ashes that gather 
Have smothered their souls. 

Vivid descriptions 
Of this thing or that; 
From a woman's good name 
To her smart little hat, 

A dragging of lives 
Through oceans of mud, 
For a nation of bovines 
To chew as a cud. 

Scribble ^nd scratch, 
Red pencil or blue, 
Sometimes it is false, 
But oftener— true! 


A master at the mellowed organ keys: 
A freshet, bubbling all its joy of Spring: 
The whimpering of baby-birds that swing 
From frailest nest, high in the budding trees: 
The rain's soft rhythm, beating on the leas: 
A baby's chuckle over some wee thing: 
The cluck of mother-hen with brooding wing, 
And cow-bells faintly chiming on the breeze. 

And still we hold to malices that mar 

Those discords of a cruel word or wrong 
That are not in accord with nature's song, 
And all relentless fling our censure 'broad, 
Forgetting that a cloud may blot a star, 
And silence harmonies which sing to God! 





Into the window shine. 

Dream light 

Beam light 

Soft on this babe of mine. 
What are her mother's eyes? 
Visions of dreamland skies, 

Whereto my darling flies 

Drifting awav! 


Wind blow 

Fire glow 

Shadows arc hovering near. 

Sing low 


Baby has naught to fear. 
What is her mother's ami? 
Cradle and pillow warm, 
Where she is safe from harm 
Rocking away! 

My sweet 

Dream sweet 

Morning will soon be here. 

Hours fleet 

Sleep sweet 

Playtime is drawing near. 
What is her mother's breast? 
Haven of love and rest. 
All that her life holds best.... 
Sleeping away! 



They sleep in kindly cemeteries of the sea, 
Fairer than those we tend on earth so lovingly. 
Coral and crystal sands in place of clay— 
A spot that knows no night— nor day. 

Mourn not their unseen graves in depths unknown. 
Vast Mother Sea has gathered in her own, 
And vivid, living flowers have spread above 
The resting place gf those we love. 

Dim subterranean cathedrals, rainbow-hued, 
Where weary voyagers, in solemn solitude, 
Hear requiems forever chanted by the deep 
Eternal waters,— bringing sleep! 


We looked into each other's eyes 
And raised our glasses, filled 
With melted rubies and with flame. 
I knew you loved me,— but my lips 
Grew dumb with rapture, and my eyes 
Oerflowed,— dropping one frightened tear 
Into the brimming cup. 

Oh take the offering from my hand! 
Was it not thus that Cleopatra 
Proved her love to Antony? 
Change me your glass and touch the brim,- 
I cannot offer priceless pearl, 
But let a tear— that fell from ecstasy- 
Pledge you my life instead! 



There's many a shining roadway 

That's lures the feet of youth. 

There's many a fickle rapture 

That masquerades as truth. 

There are gay lights, and white lights, 

And hours of pleasure bent, 

But there's no joy like your home-fire, 

In the arms of sweet content! 

The arm-chair in the fire-glow, 

With colors wearing dim, 

A little china service 

With a blue and golden rim. 

The faint aroma rising 

From a smoking amber tea, 

And you— my own dear woman,— 

A-sitting close to me. 

The sparks fly up the chimney 

Like fire-flies on a lark. 

A pile of logs lie near at hand, 

For winter's cold and dark. 

The wind sweeps past the windows 

That rattle with the din, 

But the walls are snug and sheltering, 

It cannot enter in! 

Oh, the gay ways: the high ways: 
They tempt the heart no more, 
For peace that lulls the tempest, 
Is found within my door. 
A woman's smile— a woman's kiss- 
When all is told and spent, 
Will hold the joy of earth 
Within the arms of sweet content! 




Fog on the river: fog upon the sands: 

Grey veils of fog, like smoke from camp-fires made 

From too green wood upon the wet moss laid. 

Grey, sombre veils oppressive mourning bands. 

Fog fluttering about like pale elusive hands 
That tremble palsied, seemingly afraid 
That day should rise and mists should slowly fade, 
Disclosing beauties of the waking lands. 

Jealous fog! Grey wisps of tattered dreams 

That night has cast aside to drift and die. 

Why cling to passing hours? Let them go by! 

Life offers so much joy hearts still can take! 

Then let your death-knell sound, ere dawning beams, 

In the drear fog-horn booming from the lake! 


The waves come lapping lapping hungrily 

Upon the buttressed edge of brick and stone. 
Their tiny lips, white-frothed from constant moan, 

Keep ever seeking seeking eagerly 

For warm soft sands for sands that tenderly 

Had welcomed their caressing touch alone 
In vanished, raptured hours. Can else atone 
For those remembered kisses, offered trustingly? 

Where are those gentle shores, that at love's call, 
Reached down to meet the softly murmuring rush 

Of eager searching lips then caught dawn's blush 

And melted into flames of rose and gold? 
Wharves of the City! Pier and dock and wall. 
Can you respond? Ah, no, you are too cold! 



The stubby shoes of childhood 

Broad, shapeless, heelless,— 

Comfortable pathetically safe! 

Shoes, impudently assertive 

High of arch; of heel. Expensive. 
Self-reliant shoes. Mature. 

Dancing pumps gay butterflies 

Colorful seductive. 

Brogans mud-stained, heavy, dull. 

Impervious to the ruts or scrabble 

Of country roads, fields, hillsides. 

Shoes worn from countless steps of service... 

At the side of sick-bed or kitchen stove. 

Shoes polished daily to proudly hide poverty. 
Shoes purchased with the scarlet coin of sin. 

Shoes pitifully expressive of Life's feet 

On the vari-colored pathways. 

And then 

The stubby shoes of the very aged 

Broad, shapeless, heelless, 

Comfortable pathetically safe! 

The "second childhood" of shoes! 


A plaintive, low wind, whining at my door, 
The scurry of a mouse beneath the floor, 
Flutes of the night-birds, muted as they pass, 
Reeds of the insects, piping from the grass. 
Soft, drowsy rustles in the trees abound, 
A lullaby is crooned in every sound. 
Even the waves are singing to the deep- 
When I, at night, lie down in peace to sleep. 


And now, across the darkened window-pane, 
I see the spattering rush of summer rain 
And hear its rythmic beat on roof and shed, 
And sorrow for tomorrow's tulip bed. 
It lessens— hesitates between each drop- 
Then comes at length to soft and silenced stop. 
Lovely and calm it is— like counting sheep— 
To hear the rain, when one is near to sleep. 

Then one by one the stars, new-washed, appear, 
Swinging so low they draw the heavens near, 
While perfume— born of rain— hangs on the air. 
I know the morrow will dawn warm and fair. 
Night has a fragrance all her own, it seems. 
Is it the sweetness of approaching dreams? 
I close my eyes. Dear God, how good to keep 
This mystery of Life,— a— long— night's— sleep. 


I'm weary, Life, of all these many things: 
The daily trend of mortal's little mind, 
The futile struggle of my fellow-kind, 
The empty satisfaction effort brings. 

I'm weary of the faults I cannot mend, 
The visioned heights I never can attain, 
The fallow seed-time and the harvest grain, 
The long routine from birth until the end. 

Before I reach another sphere unseen, 
Will death, however kind, bring dreamless rest 
Or will I venture forth on further quest, 
Having no respite of a sleep between? 




Its granite rocks thy sire. 

Its soil thy mother's breast. 

Its fiercest storms thy discipline. 

Its smiling peace thy rest. 

Where, in that solitude, 
Among those mountain streams, 
Didst thou attune thyself to God 
And give thyself to dreams? 

They call thee "silent" Is 

Not that an attribute, 

A spell, born of thy native hills 

Before which, man is mute? 

One does not prate of power 

In idle chatter, where 

God dwells. And thou 

Met Him in silence there! 


Some seek the perfume of the rose 
I choose the flower instead. 
Some own a painting in a frame... 
I'll take the sunset red. 

Some strive to hold reflected glow.. 
I want the steady flame. 
Some play to pass the hours away.. 
I want to win the game! 

Some value letters from afar 

I ask for clasp of hand. 


Some view mirage in distant skies.. 
I cling to surf and sand. 

Some look for shadows everywhere, 
Vague shadows, great and small. 

I want the objects good or bad.. 

That cast them on the wall! 


Your fluttering hands are like twin barques afloat 
On sapphire sea, each one a white-sailed boat 
From mystic lands, remote. 
Their bounteous treasures 'round about me shed. 

But dearer to me far, is when they spread 
Butter on my children's bread! 

Your gentle hands are like the evening flight 

Of pale white moths, through shadows of the night, 

So delicate so light. 

As cashmere of Old Spain, or laces rare. 

But to my eyes they seem most wondrous fair, 
Brushing out my children's hair! 

Your slender hands are like two candles pale 
On altar high, where 'neath a golden veil 

They reverence the Grail. 

White flames, they seem to speak of martyred dead. 

Ah, holier they, when lisping prayers are said, 
Tucking my children into bed! 



Tears fall oft-times 

Upon the muck and mire of this thing we call Life. 
Tears bitter with weary waiting: 
From the pain of wounds: from hopelessness. 
They fall softly upon the sordidness 
And moulded heaps of cruel experiences, 
Like gentle dew from heaven. 
And lo! Beneath the mire a miracle stirs! 
Tender leaves push their way out 
From the crushing debris of ruined dreams; 
Of besmirched ideals. 
Petals— white as virgin fingers- 
Reach upward toward the blue sky. 
Perfume— exquisite, scenting the air- 
Banishes the odor of long dead hopes. 

A perfect flower growing 

In the muck and mire of this thing we call Life! 

A flower symbolizing faith: 

Renewed ambition: undying trust in the power 

That lies beneath this outer rottenness. 

It may be that life will sometimes blur 

The purity of the blossomed vision, 

Or smear its petals of idealism 

With gibes and coarseness, 

Or push its golden heart of faith 

Back into the slime of hideous realities, 

But it will be powerless to destroy, for roots 

Well watered with tears of weary waiting, 

Are strong and enduring, life cannot tear them out, 

It can only stamp upon the bloom, 

Crushing it for a while, 

But it will rise from each new violation 

As serene as Love itself! 

Blossoming in the sunlight of forgiveness. 

6 4 


Dreaming so lonely, dear, 
Memory whispers clear 
Echoes of each dead year 
Fragrant with roses. 

Letters long yellowing, 
Songs that we used to sing, 
Birds on a homing wing, 
Withering roses. 

And what is memory? 
Sunset and open sea, 
Day-dreams that bring to me 
Perfume of roses. 

Weary the feet that tire, 
Lips long have lost their fire, 
Hearts burn with no desire, 
Dead, like the roses. 

Love is so sweet while young, 
Soon will its song be sung, 
And Life will rest among 
Ashes of roses! 



Wee little craft 

That sailed from ports unknown, 

Drifting into my heart alone. 

A fragile barque upon an untried sea, 

Trusting the piloting to me 

To me your mother! 

Wee little bird 

That flutters in its nest, 

Sheltering itself upon my breast. 

Stay, stay until the wings are stronger, 

A few brief, happy years no longer, 

With me your mother! 

Wee little soul 

Strung like a silken thread, 

That through the shuttle must be led. 

A thread of Life, to weave in patterns new. 

I hold one end on earth, 'tis true. 

God holds the other! 


Deep purple in the shadows long, 

Sun-gold upon the towers, 

With perfume rising from the groves 

Of olives... after showers. 

The haunting purl of castinet, 

The rustle of a skirt, 

Red lips— a pout— and then— a kiss! 

The little Spanish flirt! 


There's wine for those who best can smile, 
And songs for those who sing, 
And love on starry nights for those 
Who still to romance cling. 
Ah, take me back to azure skies, 
And back to warm, sweet rain, 
For I have brought but tears away, 
And left my .heart— in Spain! 


There's a Rambler on the trellis 

And a wild-rose in the hedge, 

With a gay and golden Marechal Neil 

Upon the arbor's edge. 

There's a Sweetheart bud a-tapping 

At the window of my room, 

And my heart is singing— singing— 

For the roses are in bloom! 

Oh, the crimson of each sunset, 
And the glowing pink at dawn. 
Royal colors of the roses 
Holding Court upon the lawn. 
Oh, the joy, the smiles, the fragrance, 
Of a land that knows no gloom! 
Just a peaceful, sun-kissed haven 
When the roses are in bloom! 

The Publisher acknowledges the courtesy of the Pasadena Tournament of 
Roses Association in permitting the use of this poem which won the $500.00 
prize award in California October, 1926, and which has since been copy- 
righted, and published as a song, by Carrie Jacobs Bond. 

^Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association 

6 7 


A bed of poppies, perfumed, shadowy, 
Thrown in relief against a midnight sky, 
A couch of Lethean slumber, sweet and deep, 
Where Life's forgetfulness may softly lie, 
Surcease from pain, in dreamy rest, 
Petals like fingers on tired eyes pressed. 

And yet, these dead'ning poppies are, they say, 
Only red flowers... by day! 

A slender face uplifted to my own, 

Lit by the feeble candle-light of stars. 

A warm, sweet mouth, curled like poppy-buds, 

That all life's ecstasy unbars. 

Surcease from loneliness, by love's own right 

Wrapped in the sheltering mantle of the night. 

And yet these flowers of passion are, they say, 
Only red lips... by day! 


Who gazes on the river 

Forgets there is a sea. 

Who looks at every little shrub 

Neglects the taller tree. 

A candle may give light enough 

But yonder is a star! 

We are so bound by little things 

We dare not travel far. 


Who treads a narrow valley 

Forgets the mountain way, 

And in the water-fall will miss 

The rain-bow of its spray. 

One cannot gaze from cellar walls 

The view is from the tower, 

And he who dares not live and dream, 

Will miss Love's golden hour! 


Little ghost of another age! 

Golden with countless polishings 

To erase the marks of long-dead hands. 

Ivory keys in a broad stretch of smile. 

A smile on an old face. 

Old ivory teeth, with some missing. 

Dear little musical ghost! 

Whisper the love-songs you have voiced 

At the touch of trembling fingers; 

The melodies at evening 

By candle-light; 

Old-fashioned waltzes; 

Tinkling gavottes and polkas, 

And hymns on a solemn Sabbath. 

Sweet reed-like notes, 
Now out of tune; jangling. 
Still with that deathless power 
Of eternal romance! 

6 9 


I passed a country school-house, 

Upon a lonely hill,— 

The leaves were brown upon the trees 

And frost was on the rill. 

I think that it was "recess," 

For soon the air was gay 

With the laughing the laughing 

Of children at their play. 

There is no sound quite like it 

In all the realms of art, 

To touch your lips with smiles, and warm 

The cockles of your heart. 

And I forgot the sadness 

Of that drear) 7 , autumn day, 

In the laughing the laughing 

Of children at their play. 

It springs so swiftly from the lips, 

Unfettered by a care, 

As bubbles— colorful and light— 

Upon the sparkling air; 

As butterflies that kiss the flowers 

But have no time to stay; 

The laughing the laughing 

Of children at their play. 

For what are riches and success 

But labor of long years, 

And what is laughter at our age 

But echoes of our tears. 

And my soul was filled with longing 

For that sweet and distant day, 

When with happy, heedless laughter 

I was just a child at play! 


Soft lights of dawn lie in her wistful eyes. 

She greets her new-found joy with wondering surprise. 

Gently she holds the precious secret fast. 

Tender, young thing! Ah, let her dreaming last! 

Step softly, Life, she is beloved! 

Stately she walks with confidence and grace, 
While little marks of time steal slyly o'er her face. 
What can years bring, that is not wise— not good? 
Proudly she holds the torch, that guides her womanhood, 
Speak softly, Life, she still is loved! 

White is the crown now resting on her brow. 
Placid, and sure, and strong, her ripened wisdom now. 
Wrapped in her memories— so soft within a grave- 
How can she smile on us, so sweetly brave? 
Breathe softly, Life, she has been loved. 



Wilt thou face Life— when to be victor means 
The tearing down all glowing dream of youth, 
Replacing them with cold, dead clay and stone; 
Frail gossamer visions torn apart by Truth? 

Wilt thou face Love— when to be caught and held 
Within its mesh, means that your white desires 
Will— by fulfillment— end in dreary waste; 
Dead ashes, left from sacred altar fires? 

Wilt thou face Death— when to go forth upon 
Life's last experience means, one cannot save 
Or take, the precious things of heart and home 
The dear familiar— to the unknown grave? 

Wilt thou face these— when Life and Love and Death 
May briefly be but preface to the whole, 
And in the waking, thou perchance might find 
A new Adventure waiting for thy soul? 


The author gratefully acknowledges the courtesy of M. Witmark and Sons 
in permitting the use of the title poem of this hook, "The Prodigal," which 
they issued as a song under the title of "Mother, Oh My Motherl" Composer, 
Ernest K. Ball. 



There's a yearning cry in my heart today, 
Mother! Oh, my Mother! 
For the childhood hours that are far away, 
Mother! Oh, my Mother! 
I have trod alone on a weary road; 
And have gathered what my hands have sowed; 
But youve not been there to ease the load- 
Mother! Oh, my Mother! 

There is brown no more in your silvered hair, 
Mother! Oh, my Mother! 
And your dear, sweet face is lined with care, 
Mother! Oh, my Mother! 
I have made you worry and made you weep; 
I have roamed the world and sailed the deep; 
But back to your arms I fain would creep- 
Mother! Oh, my Mother! 

I am tired to death of the strain and stress, 

Mother! Oh, my Mother! 

I am longing now for your soft caress, 

Mother! Oh, my Mother! 

The plaudits of life are but froth and foam; 

The world is wide to the hearts that roam; 

Say you'll forgive me— I'm coming home! 

Mother! Oh, my Mother! 

There are sins and scars I must bring with me, 

Mother! Oh, my Mother! 

There's a look in my eyes that you should not see, 

Mother! Oh, my Mother! 

But my heart is repentant— my spirit awed; 

And your trust is deep, and your love is broad; 

So I'm coming back, to you— and God! 

Mother! Oh, my Mother! 



There's a mirror that hangs on the opposite wall 

In a primly, accustomed place, 

And I often sit and gaze in its depth 

At my own, and familiar face. 

But I see no beauty that passing years 

Have carved in each deepening line, 

So I turn from the mirror and look upon you,— 

Dear little daughter of mine! 

The bloom of your face— like the lilies of dawn- 
Was once on my own cheek and brow, 
And the gleam in your eyes— it was mine too, I know, 
But tears have softened it now. 
And your lips— twin petals of cardinal flowers- 
Expectant of love's dawning bliss — 
I feel once again, as I look at their joy, 
The touch of my own lover's kiss! 

The songs that you sing— they are echoes of mine, 
And your joys— I repeat them by name. 
I recall every one of your gossamer dreams 
Before disillusionment came. 

I can hear in your voice that same challenge to life— 
A banner emblazoning trust- 
That Youth holds uplifted; untarnished; untorn; 
Till Age flings it down in the dust! 

But the mirror is fair and the mirror is clean: 

I can look in your eyes without fear, 

And treasure your faith as a beautiful thing, 

Reflecting its radiance clear. 

To see my own handiwork wrought with the years— 

As alchemists metals refine 

To live my life over— perfected in you,— 

Dear little daughter of mine! 



I love you! 

The lark that mounts on vibrant wing, 

So high: 

The coo of wood-dove in the Spring, 

So soft: 

The serenade that lovers sing, 

So low. 

I find May's sunlight on your face, 

Epitomized within your grace. 

I love you! 

I love you! 

Reflections on a placid lake, 

So clear: 

The hare-bell, blue beneath the brake, 

So shy: 

The drooping poppy,— half awake, 

So red. 

The wealth of summer's pulsing life, 

Has blossomed in your heart, my wife. 

I love you! 

I love you! 

The petals curling from a rose, 

So soft: 

The ripen'd fields where fragrance blows, 

So warm: 

The sumac— nodding in repose, 

So light. 

All autumn's richness, warmth and cheer, 

Has but enhanced each passing year. 

I love you! 

I love you! 

With winter's snow upon your brow, 

7 6 

So white: 

With tender hands that tremble now, 

So frail: 

The falling leaf: the barren bough, 

So drear. 

Let me repeat with my last breath,— 

In youth— in age, in life— in death, 

I love you! 


The edge of fleecy clouds adrift in space. 

White foam from beating surf in storm's embrace. 

Patterns of dew, that dawn's fair fingers trace. 

A gossamer spider-web in some dim place. 

A baby's frock, where ribbons interlace. 

A bridal-veil, hanging with vestal grace. 

Fine wrinkles on some aging, kindly face. 


They say to suffer, brings the greatest gain. 
They say the Great became thus great through pain. 
Tis truth! A wondrous doctrine! But yet— wait- 
Remember ALL who suffer are not Great! 




In wilderness of lofty, virgin trees, 

That swayed to every gentle, prairie breeze 

Above his cabin home. 

A lone, pathetic figure of the age, 

Poring o'er oft-read, crumpled page 

By feeble candle-light; by moonlit hour; 

Sowing the seeds of truth that grew to power! 

Alone— that awkward boy,— misunderstood? 

No, not alone,— for by his side, those early years,— 

Mis mother stood! 


Holding in trust his warring country's fate, 

\\ hile merciless rebuke and sullen hate 

Upon his head was spent. 

Burdened by cares unn Limbered and unknown 

Sorrowed by losses touchingly his own; 

Grieved by the narrowness of minds so small 

They could not see the Brotherhood of All! 

Alone— that saddened man— that power for good? 

No, not alone,— for by his side, those darkest hours— 

His Maker stood! 


Within the tomb of everlasting sleep, 
Where lullabies of wind and river sweep 
Above his quiet rest, 
While life goes on— resistless as the sea- 
Sweeping the years aside eternally! 
Yet once we pause— and leave our tears— our mirth, 
To keep again with him— his day of birth! 
Alone— that martyred dead, with folded hands? 
No, not alone,— beside thee— millions strong! 
A Nation stands! 



Oh, sweet Virginia hills! 
A thousand wooded slopes and murmring rills. 
Wide sweep of river, bound with silvered girth, — 
His land of birth! 

Do you not feel the thrill of ownership— 
Of pardonable pride- 
That such as he was born upon your soil, 
And on your bosom died? 
Virginia! Virginia! Thy son is with us yet. 
Soldier! Patriot! Gentleman! 
The world will not forget! 

Oh, far, fair Eastern land! 

A thousand memories lie within your hand. 

A Concord— under peaceful, smiling sun. 

A Lexington! 

A Valley Forge— where hearts undaunted dreamed 

Of hard-won liberty. 

An ever-living monument to Faith, 

And sturdy loyalty! 

Far Eastern hills! Fair Eastern land! Thy son is with us yet. 

Soldier! Patriot! Gentleman! 

The world will not forget! 

Oh, loved America! 

Safe from the storms your infant years endured; 

Girded with memories; rich in hallowed lore 

Of peace and war! 

Do you not feel the thrill of gratitude 

To him of sterling worth, 

When flag and hearts are raised in righteous pride 

Upon his day of birth! 

America! America! Thy son is with us yet. 

Soldier! Patriot! Gentleman! 

The world will not forget! 



Forgive us! Oh, unseen, mysterious Source, 
That swings the tides; that shapes the mountain tips! 
Forgive what is amiss in this brief prayer, 
That trembles off our unaccustomed lips. 
Forgive us for our arrogance; our pride; 
Our stubborn wills; our lack of self-control 
To hold in check the passions of our heart, 
Before the white, sure calmness of our soul. 

Forgive us if we leave contented heights 
And stoop to greed and sordid money-lust, 
Trampling beneath our feet the gold of dreams 
In maddened craze to clutch the baser dust! 
Thus struggling, so intent on further gain, 
We fail our own alloted portion to enhance, 
And do not sense,— while gambling with our lot, 
That Character is destiny,— not Chance! 

Forgive us that we turn aside from men 
Who have not always kept the standard pace, 
And shame us— that we look upon their rags, 
And not at kindred sorrows in their face! 
Forgive— that we still juggle words like "sin" 
And "virtue"— or dare call a woman "lost"— 
Who, through acceptance of a great, glad love, 
Had reckoned not the final, social cost. 

Forgive us if we pass along in haste 

And take not time to draw our heaven near, 

Then, while we prate of future, brimstoned hell, 

We make a surer one about us here. 

Forgive our satisfied and narrow creeds 

That block the way where searching knowledge delves. 

Forgive us— that we set God on a throne, 

And recognize Him not within ourselves! 



There is dust on the weeds 

By the side of the road, 

And leaves from the dying trees, 

There's a sad unrest in the autumn air, 

And a moan to the slightest breeze. 

Does the year at its close, 

When the chill wind blows, 

Feel the whisper of death 

In its failing breath? 

There's a hopeless fall 

To the steady rain, 

And gloom in the sodden skies. 

As if they pitied the tired old earth, 

So seered and dismantled it lies. 

Is the year, like a soul 

That has reached its goal, 

And dissatisfied, 

Has silently died? 

There's a gleam of gold 

On the ravished fields, 

And red in the harvest moon. 

There's a cheer of hearth, of heart, of home, 

That never is rivaled by June! 

Does the year, torn by pain, 

Strive to tell us in vain, 

With its last, sweet breath, 

That there is no death? 



You say Love came too late? Too late indeed 
To pluck the early violets 'neath the snow, 
Or see in mystic dawn the primrose glow 
On waking sky and sea. But take thou heed 
Of other beauties,— heather on the mead, 
Where late Octobers wealth bends branches low 
With golden fruit and crimson foliage-glow: 
An aftermath of Summer's spend and speed. 
A gentle peace now stills the passive earth: 
The fever of the noon is burned and spent. 
We watch the early twilight's soft descent 
Upon the pollened heads of fading flowers; 
Upon our throbbing hearts in this re-birth! 
You say it is too late for love like ours? 

Love never came too late! The latent bliss 

Of Indian Summer glorifies its days! 

A deeper warmth is in the Autumn haze,— 

As if Life's year had found its joy remiss, 

And touched the sunset hour with passion's kiss! 

A redden sky— with long, reflected rays. 

The golden hours— going their spendthrift ways. 

And purple shadows o'er each dark abyss. 

What care,— if flagrant Youth is not beside; 

If cheek grows pale; if step is not so swift? 

Many a flower is hid beneath the drift. 

What matter,— if for this we two did wait— 

And waiting— meet our Winter side by side? 

If Love be deathless— can Love come too late! 



Crickets chirpin' in the walls, 
Bull-frogs in the brook, 
Big moon sailin' 'bove the trees 
With smilin' sleepy look. 
Candle-light is blown out,— 
Kinda spooky,— hark! 
Little boy a-goin' to bed, 
Singin' in the dark! 

Goblins might come through the walls, 

Witches hide about, 

Spooky doin's,— that I'm sure, 

When the lights are out. 

But to keep your courage up, 

Makin' things a lark 

You just start in singin'— 

Singin' in the dark! 

In the comin' grown-up years, 
When your childhood's gone, 
You can help keep hold o'things 
With a cheerful song. 
Don't you fear the ills that come, 
Grief and trouble stark, 
Just try bein' young again,— 
Singin' in the dark! 



It may be a cot by a dusty lane 
With a harvest moon on the ripened grain, 
Where the elm tree shadows the kitchen door 
And the crickets chirp in the old pine floor. 
The lowing herd; the lagging hoof; 
A spiral of smoke from a humble roof; 
The creak of the pump; 
The smell of the loam,— 
But it's home- 
Just home! 

Or it may be a hut on a rock-bound shore, 
Where the waves break high with an ugly roar. 
And the clouds mass grey o'er the vessel's hull, — 
As grey as the wings of a shrieking gull. 
But a cheery (ire; the boom of the sea; 
A chowder howl and a 'dish' of tea; 
[ he tang ol salt; 
The mists lrom the foam,— 
But it's home- 
Just home! 

There are memories haunting each dear, dear place, 
As a portrait pictures a vanished face, 
And the humblest room holds joys unknown 
That live in the touch of the things we own. 
The empty cradle; the vacant chair; 
Are treasures we value beyond compare! 
The roof we possess— 
Be it thatch or dome- 
Covers home- 
Just home! 

8 4 

The long years follow and crowd us on. 
The ' wanderlust" of our youth is gone. 
Life runs so swiftly, age comes so fast,— 
Let us take what is ours while the joy of it lasts! 
A book by the fire; a pipe in hand,— 
And a woman to love and understand. 
The peace of Content; 
No wish to roam; 
For it's home- 
Just home! 


A little brown pot with marks of the loam 

And a gay little plant above, 

While beyond are the lights and sounds of a home, 

And the sheltering sense of its love. 

There may be deep sorrow, there may be grim pain 
Behind that staunch little flower, 

But it looks bravely out through the snows and the rain, 
To the ultimate sunlit hour. 

It dares to challenge each threatening despair; 
It strengthens each faltering will; 
A sure panacea for every known care,— 
A plant on the window sill! 

For a humble home roof does not limit Love's power, 
Nor simplicity lessen its scope, 

And the hearts that can treasure one gay little flower,— 
Dwell secure in the Gardens of Hope! 

8 5 


There's a beautiful land of Might Have Been, 

Which lies by the river of Past, 

Where dwell the shadows of Other Days 

And the Dreams that cannot last. 

The violets grow beneath the grass 

And the heather over the fen, 

But the violets wither, the heath grows brown, 

In the land of Might Have Been. 

We all have sailed to this distant land 

Down the long, swift river of Past, 

And we've taken our dreams and our longings there 

And built us a stronghold vast. 

Wherein we treasure each smile,— each sigh, — 

Each hope,— each kiss,— and then— 

We silently bar the heavy gates 

To the land of Might Have Been. 

And silently still, though our eyes are wet 

And our hearts are numb with pain, 

We turn our steps in the paths of Fate 

Back to our lives again. 

Back to the land of That Which Is, 

Forgetting,— if we can. 

Oh, God,— could we only keep our thoughts 

From that land of Might Have Been! 


A beggar lay on the city street, 
With a crippled back, and a cup at his feet. 
"God's pity!"— he cries to the passerby, 
But he sees Life better than you or I! 


A woman, robed in furs of brown, 
From her limousine was stepping down, 
Her fair face hardened, her eyes dismayed, 
As she passed the beggar who needed aid. 
"'Tis a careless city; an ill-kept street, 
That allows such vermin under my feet. 
Encouraging loafers; fostering crime; 
I'll speak to the mayor when I have time!" 

But another woman beside her stood, 
Who had tasted evil and knew not good, 
From her draggled hat to her shabby feet 
She was label'd a woman from off the street. 
She gazed at the beggar with knowing look, 
Then out of her purse some pennies took. 
"My money is earned from the gutter too, 
But that doesn't matter to me— or you!" 
* * * 

A beggar lay on the city street, 
With a crippled back, and a cup at his feet. 
"God's pity!"— he cries to the passerby, 
But he knows Life better than you or I! 


To suffer is the test of birth, 

Of rank, of quality, 

Who bears in silence and alone, 

A "thoroughbred" is he! 

Endurance is the mark of kings, 

To silence they revert. 

He only is low-born indeed, 

Who needs cry out when hurt! 



I planted me a garden- 
In the Spring, 

And in the warm, sweet earth 
Seeds sprang in flower-birth. 
Ah, Life was mirth, all mirth— 
In the Spring! 

I gathered from my garden 

In my Youth. 

First early lilies white. 

Pure dreams of love and light. 

Ah, Life was bright, so bright— 

In my Youth! 

I cut me crimson KX 
I ater on,— 

1 ach one a heart throb mad, 
Knowledge of all earth bad. 
Ah, I ire was glad, all glad- 
Later on! 

I pulled the quiet myrtle 
After that, 

For sorrow came with years, 
Dead hopes dim faith and Fears. 
Ah, Life was tears, all tears- 
After that! 

Dismantled lay my garden 
In the fall, 

But when the tumults cease, 
111 plant the brave heartsease,— 
For Life is peace, all peace— 
In the fall! 



Sitting smiling in the sun, 

Little one. 

All your playtime just begun, 

Little one. 

Bees and birds and butterflies 

Dance before your baby eyes; 

What know you of tears or sighs,— 

Litde one? 

Clouds may veil that happy light, 

Little one. 

Day will deepen into night, 

Little one. 

Life won't be all play and fun, 

Soon your lessons will be done 

And your work in life begun,— 

Little one! 

Oh, if I could lead you there, 

Little one! 

Guide your feet and point each snare, 

Little one. 

But alone you tread the road, 

Face the storm and lift the load, 

Gather what your hands have sowed,— 

Little one! 

Keep your journey bright each mile, 

Little one. 

Meet your trials with a smile, 

Little one. 

So, when life is nearly done, 

Problems met and battles won, 

You'll be sitting in the sun,— 

Little one! 

8 9 


There's a mystical land over yonder, 

Beyond the grey of the mist, 

Where dreams come true in their splendor, 

And lips or the lonely are kissed. 

There are shimmering, gossamer fancies 

Like meadows of asphodels, 

And the stars are the fair, white blossoms 

In that land where romance dwells. 

There's a crescent moon over yonder, 

That we'll use as a wee, white boat, 

And I'll gather a cloud dipped in silver 

To cover \our slim, young throat. 

The storms and the rains will not touch us, 

\\ e will sail so far and so high, 

And the stars will bend o'er us gently 

To kiss us,— as we pass by! 

Oh, a feast is spread over yonder, 
On a cloth that is woven ol dew. 
And the chalice that holds the nectar 
Is the warm, red mouth of you! 
Your sigh is the attar of blossoms 
Distilled from the gardens of May; 
Your tears but the rain on their petals 
That the sun of my love dries away! 

Tis a wonderful land over yonder, 
That is hung twix the night and the dawn, 
And only true lovers may sail there 
In the bark by a moon-beam drawn. 
No world-weary eyes shall behold it,— 
As age sweeps us on down its stream, 
But Youth welcomes Youth at the harbor 
Of that land where Dream meets Dream! 



There's a rush of waters alive with glee, 

This time o'year, 

And a strong, swift wind sweeping over the lea, 

This time o'year, 

There are new, wee birds in the sparrow's nest, 

And a deeper red to the robin's breast, 

And a finer spume to the sea-wave's crest, 

This time o'year. 

There's a different lilt to the lark's sweet song, 

This time a' year, 

There's a clearer edge to the shadows long, 

This time o'year, 

A vague, sweet murmer and stir is abroad, 

'Tis the hour of creation in tree and sod, 

Some call it nature,— and some call it God, 

This time o'year! 

There are eyes that melt in a softened glow, 

This time o'year, 

From hearts that awake after winter's snow, 

This time o'year, 

The air is warm and the sun is higher, 

The right to love is the world's desire, 

And lover's lips are like velvet and fire, 

This time o'year! 

There's a sense of awe in the human breast, 

This time o'year, 

A kinship with nature, half-expressed, 

This time o'year, 

Winter is gone with its bitter sting; 

Faith expands like a living thing, 

And Death's but a step to another Spring,— 

This time o'year! 



Bits of velvet and scraps of silk 

Grooped in Arabic style, 

Patiently cut and pieced and stitched, 

Through many a weary while. 

Some are as blue as the turquoise sky 

Or a placid, sapphire sea; 

Green as young leaves that trembling hang 

From gently swaying tree; 

Gold as ripe grain; brown as sear leaf 

In Autumn's splendor dressed; 

Red as the letter, branding shame, 

That blazed on Hester's breast. 

Violet, salfron, grey and mauve, 

Black as a raven's wing; 

Broidered in intricate handiwork,— 

A dazzlingly lovely thing! 

Bits of adventure and scraps of joy, 
Pieced through the long, long years. 
Scraps of duty, of work, of play, 
Stitched with our smiles,— our tears. 
Green of envy— purple of pride- 
Monotonous brown and grey, 
Gold of our love— black of our sins- 
Red with brief passion's sway. 
Broidered with patience to hide each flaw, 
East struggle, pain or defeat,— 
For we must have grey to balance the gold, 
As the bitter enhances the sweet. 
Bits of beauty,— or scraps of sin, 
Pieced on the human soul! 
God! Forget Thou the black— the red— 
And only adjudge the whole! 



Love is not built of gossamer, 

Nor touched with rainbow dye. 

The "castles in the air" are myths,— 

We cannot build so high. 

No, love is built of brick on brick, 

So it may stand the test, 

The bricks are small and dull and plain, 

Unnoticed at their best. 

There is a brick called courtesy, 
And one of patience too, 
And one of daily trivial tasks 
That each of us must do. 
There is the brick of sacrifice, 
Of service,— tried and long, 
Forbearance, pity, comfort, trust, 
When everything seems wrong. 

The bricks of love are mortared down 

With smiles and pain and tears, 

Until they're strong and firm and straight, 

A buttress gainst the years. 

Love is not built of gossamer, 

Nor in a summer's day, 

But by long years that dry our tears 

And chase the clouds away. 

Ah, could I lay the bricks aright 

In true and earnest life, 

That the fair walls might ride the clouds 

Defying storm and strife, 

So when I finish earth's great task 

And other work begin, 

I'll find I've raised a tower of love— 

And built my soul within! 



We climbed the hill together, 

You and I. 

Love's roses were so fragrant in the dew, 

The sky above was too ablaze for blue, 

The nests of mating birds hung strong and new. 

You bravely gave your hand, 

Too young to understand 

Why others feared the climbing— 

T'ward the sky! 

We climbed the hill together, 
You and I. 

The waving grain made music in the wind, 
And drowsy calves and awkward lambkins lay 
In sheltering shade aside their mother-kind. 
You gently touched my hand, 
And bade me understand 
What life perhaps would whisper- 
By and by! 

We reached the top together, 

You and I, 

And oh, the view that stretched on every side! 

The sky above was fired with sunset glow, 

While shadows veiled the dangers passed below. 

We knew each path,— each scar,— 

We'd come so far— so far, 

Through morns and noons and evenings,— 

You and I! 

We're going down the hill now, 

You and I, 

But oh, the soft'ning after-glow beyond! 

The road beneath our step is safe and sure 


To those whose love could serve and pain endure. 
Still on the path our feet, 
We'll reach the "Valley"— Sweet, 
Together— as we started— 
You and I! 


My life is like a ship: the wide, blue sea 
Is but the world,— so measureless and vast. 
The waves sometimes are high— they cover me, 
And oft I think my hope and peace are past. 

I see the other boats astride the waves, 
Their sails are white, their cargo fresh and fair. 
Again I see the wrecks of sinful lives 
Adrift— against the black rocks of despair! 

Sometimes the sea is blue and calm with peace, 
No storm-ways beat against my firm boat's side, 
And straight before me lies the Harbor safe, 
Toward which, all the many vessels ride. 

But though our lives are happier in the calm, 

And sweet the day; and deep with peace the night,— 

We make but little headway t'ward the Port, 

From which streams forth the welcome, morning light. 

For 'tis not calm and balmy seas of blue, 
That make our wilful ship of life sail fast 
And ride triumphant into sheltering Port,— 
'Tis Life's own storms that drive us Home at last! 



If all my ships came sailing home, 

Came sailing home to me, 

I would not have one ship afloat 

Across the azure sea. 

The boundless sea, 

The open sea, 

No ships to come to me! 

If all my dreams came surely true, 

Came surely true for me, 

I would not have one vision left 

For eager eyes to see. 

For eager eyes 

To idealize, 

No dreams remaining me! 

If all my joys came crowding in, 

Came crowding in to me, 

1 would not have one glad hour left, 

No place for smiles to be. 

No place in me 

For ecstasy. 

No room where joys might be! 

If all the wealth and all the power 

Came showering down on me, 

I would not have one aim to press 

To prove ability. 

No foes to meet, 

No striving sweet 

To test the worth of me! 

If all my ships came sailing in, 
Came sailing in to me, 

9 6 

'Twould stifle effort, cool desire, 

And crush the faith in me. 

'Twould lull the gale 

That sets the sail 

Of ships across the sea! 

No, let me rather longing be 

For ships that never come! 

For dreams that linger, hopes that wait, 

And work that's never done. 

Then shall it be,— 

The Soul of me 

Will press steadfastly on! 


A glaring sun; a blinding rain; 
The reek of sin; the grip of pain; 
Regret, endurance, struggle, strife— 
And is this Life? 

A purple sky; a silence deep; 

A last, long, restful, dreamless sleep; 

A smile of peace; one soft, tired breath— 

And is this Death? 

If smiling peace is sorrow's end, 
And Life leads but to Death, my friend, 
Then Death— in conquering pain and strife- 
Must lead to Life! 



There's a pine log red and glowing, 
And a rag-rug on the floor, 
With a host of shadows dancing 
On the panels of the door. 
There's an old harp in the corner 
With the fire-light on each string, 
And the melodies I love best, are 
The evening songs you sing. 

Yes, the songs you sing at evening 
To the mellow chords you plav, 
Fill the room with benediction 
At the closing of the day. 
There's a wistfulness and yearning 
That reveals the hidden tear, 
And I see in every melody 
Mv bride of yester-year! 

Oh, the songs that throb so softly 

From your dear, familiar throat, 

Bring the mem'ries crowding round me 

At each quiver of a note. 

I can hear old-fashioned garments 

Rustle down the winding stair; 

See the light of candles sifting 

Crystal star-light on your hair. 

When vou sing of Annie Laurie 
It recalls a purpled moor, 
And the lilt of Southern folk-songs 
Takes me back to Swanee's shore, 
But your lullabies so tender 
Bring the quick tears to my eyes, 
For I see our children's faces 
Ere the crooning whisper dies. 

9 8 

Oh, the years have brought their smiling, 
And the years have sent their pain,— 
But your voice was ever with me 
Through the sunshine and the rain. 
Ever with me,— till that evening 
When the last grey shadows creep, 
May you still be singing— singing— 
When I close my eyes in sleep! 


She walks alone— 

On Mother's Day. 

No gifts past years of sacrifice repay: 

No words— no smiles— no childish kisses,— save 

The silent memories held within a grave! 

She walks alone 

With head held high. 

She does not show her tears in passing by. 

Women endure,— no matter what their loss,— 

One Mother saw her Son upon a cross! 

Is she alone 

In ways apart? 

Or do small voices speak unto her heart, 

While unseen hands upon her brow are laid 

To crown with blossoms that shall never fade? 

Oh, you who pause 

On Mother's Day, 

To send you fragrant gifts to one away, 

Speak to this mother— to whom no one gives, 

Tell her,— there is no death! Her child still lives! 



Every country has its own 

Farewell cry. 

You and I— 

Simply say a-down the years 

Words that tremble through the tears,- 

"Dearest Heart 


Where the sun-kissed fields of France 

Lie in dew, 

Sky of blue; 

Dusky hair and witching way; 

Shrug of shoulder; parting gay,— 

"Au revoir— 


In the hills of sunny Spain 

Ever thus, 

Dear to us. 

Castinet and tambourine; 

Lacy veils or satin sheen,— 

Cry to us— 


On Italia's vine-clad shores 

Flowers blow; 

Rivers flow. 

Neath the olive branches' shade, 

Lover's parting serenade,— 

"A wvederci— 


In the northern German land 

Homefolks reign, 

Noble strain. 

Quiet, they— of sober mind, 


Speak their parting gracious, kind. 


Every country has its own 

Farewell cry; 

Its "Goodbye" 

But our own more precious seems,- 

"God be with you" dear, it means. 

With a sigh— 

And— "Goodbye!" 


My Lover reveled in my smile- 
As roses in the sun, 
And stayed contented at my side 
While life was sweet and young. 
But when a shadow crossed my face, 
And pain and sorrow met, 
My lover turned and left me then— 
For lovers soon forget! 

My Friend, whom I ne'er smiled upon. 

Nor welcomed in my heart, 

Had never left me, but kept watch— 

A little way apart. 

And when he saw my loneliness, 

He came and shared my pain, 

For lovers run at fleeting smiles— 

But friends, true friends, remain! 



Low marsh, with a wild wind sweep 

And a moonless night above; 

A moonless night like a velvet robe 

On the shoulders of my love. 

But a fluttering light 

Through the fog-mists grey, 

Flickers ahead— afar— 

It may be only a Will-o-the-wisp,— 

Or it may be a shining Star! 

Brave dreams of strong, sweet youth, 
Mid the sordid swamps of fear; 
Swamps that cling to each vision fair 
As vapors across the meer. 
But a ray of hope 
Through the mists of doubt, 
Flickers ahead— afar— 
It may be only a Will-o-the-wisp,— 
Or it may be a beck'ning Star! 

A longing heart, through mute, sad hours, 

And a waiting into the years; 

A vigil that weights the wings of faith 

And dims the eyes with tears. 

But the wavering hope 

Of a deathless joy, 

Flickers ahead— afar— 

It may be only a Will-o-the-wisp,— 

Or it may be Love's radiant Star! 



It leads through banks of clover, 
It winds past fields of grain, 
Tis smiling in the sunshine 
And muddy in the rain, 
Tis weary to the foot-sore 
At the twilight of the day,— 
For the dawning of the morning 
Is just one night away! 

The long road; the gay road,— 
Each joyous lover trips, 
When hand is fast in hand-clasp 
And lips are close to lips! 
They lightly laugh at parting, 
Each passing, sunlit day,— 
For the dawning of the morning 
Is just one night away! 

But the long road; the hard road,- 
Winds up and down the hill, 
And the air that blows at evening, 
Can leave a sudden chill. 
Our Youth lies far behind us 
And we droop beside the way,— 
Forgetting that the morning 
Is just one night away! 

The long road; the strange road,— 
Ahead of aging years. 
We tread the narrow valley 
Through the vale of weary tears. 
But beyond the road of shadows, 
Will come the waking day,— 
For the dawning of the morning 
Is just one night away! 




I saw her first among the pink and white 
Of apple-blossoms,— falling at her feet 
From ghostly branches; and in that Spring light, 
She looked herself a blossom, young and sweet! 

And then from out the rosy, scented air, 
I heard the silvery music of her voice- 
Laughing as petals fell upon her hair 

And knew my heart at last had made its choice! 

2. REST 

("Deus haec otia fecit"— God hath made this a rest.) 

Since first I met thee, life has been 
A melody with one refrain. 
Contentment, with thine arms about; 
Peace, that I could not live without; 
Dear one, 'tis only thus expressed— 
"God hath made this a rest." 

To find, to love, to have, to hold, 
Life could not pay me brighter gold. 
This tenderness and truth which lies 
Within the love-light of thine eyes! 
I bow my head upon thy breast— 
"God hath made this a rest." 


My love lies dead. The withered leaves 
Fall silently from dving trees 
LIpon her grave; her new-made bed. 
Yet not alone she sleepeth there, 
For hushed upon her breast so fair, 
My heart lies dead! 



Pale moonlight glistening on the snow, 

Or shady banks where rivers flow; 

The early violet, dew-pearled; 

The hum of bee; 

The summer sea;— 

How God must love the world! 

The clasp of hand in trouble's hour; 

The open petals of a flower; 

A baby's hair,— soft, downy, curled; 

The shadows long; 

A robin's song,— 

How God must love the world! 


My lips met yours, 
That day in June; 

And all the flowers in garden, field and vale 
Hung motionless and pale! 
For what exotic fragrance 
Could they offer at our feet- 
One half so sweet? 

My lips met yours, 
That night in June; 

And all the stars— wee lanterns of the night- 
Hung cold and white! 
For what illuminated radiance 
Could they offer, far above, 
Like to our love? 




Lying carelessly strewn 

From amorous roses long since set aside 

By indifferent hands. 


Torn into bits, 

Resembling fluttering snow before the wind, 

Dead scraps of paper. 

Crumbs from the banquet table; 

Dregs of wine in the cup; 

Faint echoes of distant harmonies 

Like the rapidly fading colors of sunset; 

The memory of your kisses 

Ah, little ghosts, little ghosts— 
Returning to haunt me! 


Dark is the deck of the Dream Barge 

For it only sails with the night, 

And along the shores and the shallows 

Each star is a harbor light. 

No voices sound from the pilot 

To guide the barque on its way, 

And the mem'ries circling the Dream Boat 

Will vanish like mist with the day. 

Swift is the flight of the Dream Barge 
For her sails are spread to the skies, 
And we're borne through portals of slumber 
To the country where love never dies. 
Dim faces peer from the shadows 
And voices we've loved down the years, 

1 06 

Till the river of Soul's Returning 
Has become a river of tears. 

Brief is the stay of the Dream Barge; 

Fleeter than echoes could tell, 

And the pale hands that meet us in welcome 

Soon wave back a parting farewell. 

But the dreams from that voyage we've gathered 

Have driven our tears all away, 

And the tender caresses of Lost Ones 

Have strengthened our hearts for the day! 


They fall— so silently, so soft, 

It makes me think 

Of tender little ghosts who loth 

To cross the brink, 

Have sent their tiny messengers ahead, 

From out the vale of living to the dead. 

They fall— so gracefully, so slow, 

I'm very sure 

That when my time has come to go, 

And change endure, 

I'll think of how the leaves, without a sound, 

Sank trustingly and gently to the ground. 

They fall— so tenderly, so light, 

It makes me feel 

That all this fear of winter and of night 

Was never real, 

And though the leaves may die, the tree— still king 

Will, soul-like, live to see another spring. 



Help me to make this working day 
A little brighter, if I may, 
To lighten weary, irksome grind 
By trying to be kind. 

By giving credit where it's due; 
Hushing reports that are not true, 
And leaving pettiness behind, 
That hinders being kind. 

Let me not shrink from duties grim, 
Allowing interests to grow dim, 
Nor let me chafe at ties that bind, 
But oh,— let me be kind! 

Let me not look for praise nor fame 
To advertise my humble name, 
But to all selfish aims be blind 
By just remaining kind. 

Help me to meet life face to face; 
Each opportunity embrace, 
Enlarge my soul; expand my mind, 
And, oh!— Let me be kind! 


Grandfather's clock stands in the hall 

With a pendulum long and slim. 

Grandfather's hair was thin and white,— 

I can just remember him. 

But Grandfather's gone and the clock is here, 

And the pendulum swings through many a year- 


A day— a night! 
A night— a day! 
Ticking, ticking away! 

My lover waits in the sunlit hall 

With the fire of love on his brow. 

My lover's hair is mahogany brown 

As the mellow old clock is now. 

But the years will pass and my lover will go, 

While the clock will be swinging its pendulum slow 

A day— a night! 

A night— a day! 

Ever, ever away! 

So Til pledge him my troth in the same, old hall 

While the clock smiles down from above, 

For though it is old in the counts of time 

It is wise in the ways of love. 

This life is so brief for the love we bear, 

And the fleeter it is— the sweeter to share! 

A day— a night! 

A night— a day! 

Loving, loving away! 


A moonbeam stooped and kissed me, 

As I stood 'neath her silver rays, 

But my heart was chill 

And my soul was still 

In the flood-light of her gaze. 

My lover stooped and kissed me, 
As I stood neath the April skies, 
And my heart throbs spoke 
For my soul awoke 
In the love-light of his eyes! 




Like slender lily leaves 

Upon a breast now hushed, as the calm 

Of midnight world asleep. 


Like old, worn envelopes 

About the pages of oft-read letters 

Still held to a faithful heart. 


Away from us! 

We, who loved to kiss their perfumed softness; 

We, who may only dare hope, that— 

Somewhere, somehow, sometime, 

They will thrill with Life again, 

And in Eternity 

Stretch out to welcome us! 


Oh, a Gypsy moon is rising, 

One by one the stars surprising 

As she rides along the highway of the skies, 

And she calls the timid lovers 

Down the road her silver covers, 

Down the open road where romance never dies. 

Hark, the eerie night-birds calling, 

And the velvet shadows falling 

O'er the quiet of the garden's dim retreat, 

And I listen for your singing 

That has set my heart a-ringing, 

And the patter of your slim and dancing feet. 

1 10 

There are roses in my bower, 

But there's not a single flower 

That can rival quite the fragrance of your hair, 

For with long and clinging tresses 

That my trembling hand caresses, 

It has found and bound my heart within its snare. 

Oh, the road of night and gladness 

Is a trail of silver madness 

With the Gypsy moon a-smiling on our bliss. 

Let us follow it with rapture, 

Every happiness to capture 

That is found within the promise of a kiss! 


Speech is for man alone. No other sphere 
Claims our own sounds— 'tis earthly born. 
But music— language of the gods- 
Existed long before this young earth's morn! 
We know by our own souls that thrill and move 
With memory, at a single strain sublime 
That still goes forth— perchance to reach the hearts 
Of others, living at some future time. 

Art's triumphs are destroyed by age and war. 
A sculptured figure crumbles into clay, 
The literature of every nation's pride 
May fall in silence of unread decay. 
But music— highest of all noble arts- 
Will never die nor even cease to be. 
We know not whence it came, nor how, 
Nor where it ends in the eternity. 

1 1 1 




Grey skies; grey sea; 

A waste of surf and sand. 

A few low branches, like ghostly arms, 

Reach down and touch my hand. 

Empty and bleak 

As a wan, pale cheek, 

The marsh lies before my eyes; 

And over-head, 

Like a soul terror-sped, 

One great-winged sea-gull Hies. 

Blue skies; blue sea; 

A stretch of shining sand. 

IIk' sofi green branches, like loving arms, 
Reach down and kiss my hand. 
Rosy with haze 
In the sunsets rays, 

1 he marsh lies before my eyes; 
And over-head, 
Like a soul love-sped, 
A gull to its mate swift' flies. 

Is it the self-same scene I face? 
What miracle has taken place? 
Ah, Love, I thought you knew! 
I have met you! 

I 12 


Then from the sky 

As thunderbolt of storm 

Strikes the green tree 

All budding in the morn, 

And fells it with an unexpected blow,— 

The knowledge came— that I must turn and go 

Out of your life, 

From things that are, I see, 

Forbidden me! 

No dreams that I 
Have visioned in the night, 
Nor hours of day— 
When with mine eyes alight 
I faced the world with triumph in my pride- 
Can e'er bring back the glory that has died! 
Ah, love, to find 
The joys that were to be,— 
Forbidden me! 

Long, long the years 
That I must brave and meet, 
Only a memory 
To ease the bittersweet, 
And see each year the loneliness and age- 
Creep,— on adown my own life's empty page 
Away from you! 
Our love that was to be, 
Forbidden me! 



I love you more, because 
We parted as we did! 
Because, while looking in your eyes, 
I saw I had not left one cause for deep regret. 
Those eyes that I had learned 
To love— (ah, God, how much!)— 
Would still be able, with a pride and force, 
To meet the whole wide world as honestly and true 
As if we had not glanced 
Adown that path where roses bloom- 
But where one plucks— the rue! 
No path, my love, has room for more than two! 
So, though I kissed your lips, 
I understood I could not journey 
Down that road— with you! 

I love you more, because 

We left no touch of sordidness 

To mar our souls: 

No words nor deeds that were not savored 

With respect and trust. 

The passion of our hearts 

Remained a flame, and did not burn 

Itself to ashes and to dust! 

I left that manhood I admire, 

A thing to keep forever in my mind 

As something fine and strong, 

And left with vou the mem'ry of mv love 

Unmarred,— a clear white fire! 

Renunciation is a finer thing 

Than satisfied desire! 

And so, I love you more 

Because we parted as we did. And though 

My heart cries out for you. 

And eyes are wet with weary, futile tears 


That cannot ease the pain— nor will not ease, 

Until I look upon your face again— 

I still am proud, that I have clearly seen 

The strong, fine honor of your soul and mind! 

My lips have met on yours— 

That last brave time— 

They blessed me with their touch. 

The Flame is bright— serene— controlled— 

It lights me as I go, 

I take its memory to the end!— 

Is it not better so? 


The narrow track winds on and on 
And the wheels turn round and round; 
The trees fly by, the smoke drifts high, 
And the dust swirls over the ground. 

My heart lies back 

On that narrow track, 

But the train still carries me on! 

Life's journey runs down a narrow track 
And the wheels go round and round. 
Events fly past, each follows the last, 
Lost treasures lie thick o'er the ground. 

My youth lies back 

Down that narrow track, 

And the train still carries me on! 

I'll reach the end of this narrow track 
And ril think my journey is done, 

But it's only a turn a bend of the road, 

And the train will go steadily on. 

My life will lie back 

On that finished track, 

But my soul will go on and on! 


5 . ENVOY 

So life must pass into the Great Beyond, 
Leaving the years a silent page. 
And I, too, must adventure forth 
Where spring and youth will never age. 

Then, if I wake and find in that Dim Land 

No knowledge of this earthly plane, 

Oh, let me start anew— 

And meet you, love, unfettered; mine again! 

But if I wak* and in that Newer Life 

Remember what has gone before, 

(How love had passed me by) 

Oh, let me not awake— but sleep forevermore! 


They gave you to me— and the sun arose 
On the gleam of the morning dew. 
I kissed the bloom of your fair, soft cheek. 
And the lids of your eyes so blue. 
I asked no boon but a simple home; 
No joy save your smile or your sigh; 
\\ illing to dwell bv your side, alone, 
And let the world go by! 

They took you from me— and the sun went down 

And the skies were drear and bleak. 

I closed your eyes with a sobbing kiss, 

And left a tear on your cheek! 

But memory comes in the firelight glow, 

As I watch the embers die, 

And I'm willing to dwell in the past, with you— 

And let the world go by! 

1 1 


'Tis not the perfume of the rose, 

Tis not the jewel's gleam, 

Nor ripples on the summer sea 

Where lovers sit and dream, 

'Tis not the springtime's bud and breeze, 

Nor autumn's flaming glow, 

'Tis not the chime of winter bells 

Across the glistening snow. 

No, 'tis the silver of your voice, 

The sunlight on your hair, 

The ready smile, the happiness 

In little things we share, 

The still communion of our hearts, 

The rest long hours bestow, 

'Tis just the 'peace of God on earth"— 

Dear heart, because I know! 


I see you in the grasses on the lea, 

And hear you in the pulsing joyous note 

Of songbirds, in the plash of lilting boat 

Upon the bosom of some sapphire sea. 

I know your thoughts are often here with me 

In solitude; in those dim, quiet hours remote, 

When twilight wraps her shadows 'round my throat 

Like widow's veils— after the sunbeams flee! 

Ah, let me send my love to you this night, 

Breathing one note into the distant song, 

So it may comfort you when hours are long, 

Like softly whispered prayer upon your lip. 

And in your waking, find with morning light, 

The music of harmonious fellowship! 



'Tis time I gang to work, lass, 

I canna dream a'day. 

There's cuttin' down o'grain, lass, 

There's reapin' o'the hay. 

But through the live-lang hours, lass. 

Ye might think oft' of Ben, 

Who loves ye bonny well, lass, 

Darling— dinna ye ken? 

Tis time I gang to sleep, lass, 

I canna think a'night. 

The whippoorwill is callin' me 

To snufr my candle light. 

But soon will come the dawn, lass, 

I'll dream o' ye till then 

For I love you bonnv well, lass, 

Darling— dinna ye ken? 


Your love is like a lily— cool and pale, 

That wraps around its perfumed heart of gold 

Long, slender petals, each a velvet fold 

Of chill, celestial white; a modest veil. 

You drift beneath an over-hanging shale 

Where tangled brake and spongy mosses old 

Shield well your frailty from sudden cold. 

Are you— like chalice of the Holy Grail— 

Too pure to open heart to golden beam 

Of robber Sun, that shines above your pool? 

Can you not feel his warmth in waters cool 

As he rides by— your ardent devotee? 

Then, Love, be not a placid flower upon the stream, 

But lift your fragrant face and welcome me! 



To end the day, 

To go back home and never see 

You stand beside the open door 

Awaiting me. 

To find no loving hands that ministered 

In other days, 

To miss your gentle voice, 

Your tender ways. 

To go without 

That little, evening talk 

That quiet settlement of worries met 

And then— our star-lit walk. 

To never feel again 

That peace of heart and home, 

The proof of love, the rest 

I find upon your loving breast. 

To lose you! 

Miss you! 

Want you! 

This would be— 


To me! 




We miss thy song! 

Yet, in a little while, 
(Life is so brief) 
We, too, shall journey on, 
And, reaching thee in spaces far, 
Shall read again 
The golden, limpid words 
From off thy pen. 
God could not let those hands 
Lie folded— stilled! 
So, we shall see the visions fair 
That thou hast always seen, 
The deeper knowledge, 
Beauty, rhythm, grace— 
The very soul of thee— 
Written indelibly with flaming pen. 
Across the parchments of eternity! 

1 20 


Have you ever lain on the grass at night, 

Away from the beckoning town, 

With your weary head 

On a clover bed, 

In a world turned upside-down? 

And raised your eyes to a Lake of Stars, 

The color of midnight blue, 

While the cedar trees 

In a lazy breeze, 

Were crooning their dreams to you? 

Have you watched the moon drift out from the shore, 

Like a boat on a Gypsy ride, 

With a gentle dip 

To her crescent's tip, 

And a light on her starboard side? 

Then followed her pathway of silver foam 

To the edge of a phantom land, 

Where the cities of day 

Where swept away 

At the wave of a fairy hand? 

Have you heard the whisper of unseen waves 

Sweep in from the misty space, 

And found the spray 

Of the Milky Way 

Soft dew on your up-turned face? 

Or sensed the warmth of a wide, deep peace 

From the Lake of Stars drift down, 

And touched at last, 

Before night passed, 

The hem of Beauty's gown? 



Oh, the sweet of you! 

Oh, the dear of you! 

Soft warm bundle asleep at my breast. 

Fragrant as little winds 

Blowing at evening dusk, 

When day's at rest. 

Oh, the soft of you! 

Oh, the pink of you! 

Curled wee thing like a blossom in spring. 

Trusting as baby birds, 

High in the mother-nest, 

When branches swing. 

Oh, the peace of you! 

Oh, the dream of you! 

Cradled and slumbering, innocent one. 

I will be waiting to 

Gather you close again, 

When night is done. 


We love old laces, soft and rare, 
Old books to touch with gentle care, 
Old ivory from a polished tusk 
And knarled old trees against the dusk, 
Old wine, deep-mellowed with the years, 
And yellowed letters read through tears 
Then why— as softening years unfold— 
Can we not— gracefully— grow old? 

I2 3 


Let us remember now 

The lasting love he bore you 

Gentle woman of his early youth 

And of the spring 

The love that surely must have strengthened 

All those years, with you beside; 

Those years of wounded hearts and futile pride. 

Else, how could he endure the warring hell 

That swept apart the ones he loved so well . . . 

In North ... in South. 

You . . . woman lost but for a little while . . . 

Did vou not teach him to endure, 

And oft'times smile? 

And were you there, 

When tender awkward hands 

Bore his still body to that humble room 

Across the way? 

And did you take him . . . dying there . . . 

Into your waiting arms to rest; 

Pressing his wear) 7 head against your breast; 

Whispering words of love, so long denied; 

Giving back joy Life took away the hour you died; 

Robbing his grave of dread, 

His heart of earthly strife . . . 

Ann Rutledge . . . did you not take him back 

To Love's eternal life? 


You came to me one dreary rainy night, 
When I had begged you so to leave a light, 
In foolish childish fear. 
You sat beside my trundle-bed awhile: 


I felt the warmth and comfort of your smile. 
Remember, mother dear? 

I know you came to me again last night! 

I was alone and still without a light, 

In hopeless grief and fear. 

Bewildered . . . since the recent hour you died. 

You bent and kissed me where the tears had dried. 

Remember, mother dear? 


The simple rite 

Of keeping Lent, 

Is not alone with garments rent, 

Or fasting daily . . . penitent, 

But going to some lovely place . . . 
A quiet church, a little space 
Of open country, or alone 
In some dear room ... at home, 

And in such solitude, 

Forget the word that hurt; the tear 

That would not check; the fear 

That would not stifle. 

There to think 

On each small stubborn sin 

Long closeted within. 

Let calmness saturate the soul 
And leave it emptied of all else 
Save peace and fortitude. 
To fill anew with song . . . 
And truth . . . and beauty! 
This is the sacrament . . . 
Of keeping Lent. 



No matter if the threads are dim 

Or sadly frayed and torn, 

There may be beauties still revealed 

Between the patches worn. 

Faint perfume from the dust of years, 

A tarnish in the gold, 

The tangle of adventure's thread, 

A broken romance told. 

Here . . . knights of vanished courtly days, 

There . . . maids in patch and curl, 

A falcon on a cruel wing, 

A banner in the furl. 

To me, you bring the scent of musk, 

1 he cadence of a harp, 

The whisper of a lover's vow 

All woven in the warp. 

Dear, dusty, mould'ring tapestry, 
Hung in a modern age, 

ose weaver long has passed from view, 
As actor from the stage. 
Where bide those slender fingers now? 
In quiet where she lies? 
Or weaving threads of lasting hue 
Across eternal skies? 


There's a little w r hite house of wonderful dreams 
That stands by the road of desire, 
A-waiting in silence for one that shall come 
When the world's weary gaieties tire. 


There's a maple of gold by the wide-opened door, 
With a trumpet-vine, crimson and blue, 
Where a new robin-home is gallantly swung, 
Like my dream-nest . . . waiting for you! 

There's a nursery too, with a kitten asleep 
Mid a clutter of nameless wee toys, 
Awaiting the toddle of clumsy small feet, 
And the laughter of innocent joys. 

Oh, my little white house of wonderful dreams, 
I scarcely dare whisper a name! 
But I'm waiting— like you— in the silence tonight, 
For a love that's a star . . . and a flame! 


Dear little lady with wistful smile, 
Nodding and dreaming all the while, 
Tell me your memories, clear and white, 
That bring the sigh to your lips tonight. 

1 am thinking of songs with a tender lilt, 
Of hollyhocks and patch-work quilt, 
Of candles soft, in an old-time room, 
Of home-spun, made at an oaken loom. 

Of sunny kitchens and Christmas cheer, 
Of homing hearts that are gone, my dear, 
Of baby fingers, of one loved face, 
And perhaps a grave in a far-off place." 

Dear little lady with brave sweet smile, 

Nodding and dreaming all the while, 

I am list'ning with you to the songs long sung 

Of those dear, dead days, when your love was young. 



A ship . . . 

And a gull's cry in the night. 
The sea's curved breast, 
Then ... a harbor light. 

A blade . . . 

And a ravished field lies dead. 

A grinding stone, 

Then ... a Nation's bread. 

A youth . . . 

And a long white road to roam. 
Love's mystic call, 
I hen ... a place called I Iome. 


Upon yon stately heights, oh man, how far 
Can thy weal eyes against the noonday sun 
A swallow Follow? Or when evening star 
Emerges from the folds of twilight's veil 
Peering as pale sad iacc of virgin nun, 
What of its purpose canst thou comprehend? 
Thou pigmy! E'er thy glow of ego pale, 
What can thy hand call forth, strike out, or mend? 

And yet thy foot is planted with a will 
Upon the neck of those within thy power. 
Pity is unknown virtue. Pride is still 
Prime ruler of thy life's restricted hour. 
How many evolutions from the clod 
Must thou survive, before thou art a god! 



Spin your dreaming while you may, 
Flying fingers through the day. 
Smile and play in summer's glow, 
Soon will roses fall in snow. 

Spin and sing while blossoms last, 
Swift the thread is slipping past, 
Fainter grows the fragrance sweet, 
Slower trip the dancing feet. 

Spin and love . . . oh, human breast, 
E'er your weary heart must rest, 
E'er Life's autumn, dim and cool, 

Finds . . . and leaves ... an empty spool. 


Blossoms floating on invisible stems, 

Petals sifted over the grass . . . 

A brocade of pink and silver. 

Sunlight filtering through perfume, 

Warming it. A little whisper 

From above me in the branches, 

Where birds . . . delirious with joy . . . 

Are busy about their home-building. 

Bees . . . drunk with dew . . . drone lazily. 

A buoyant little breeze ruffles the blooms, 

Then showers them, playfully, upon my hair. 

Is it strange that Youth returns 

In the old orchards? 



Who gazes on the river 

Forgets there is a sea; 

Who looks at every little shrub 

Neglects the taller tree. 

A candle may give light enough, 

But yonder is a star! 

We are so bound by little things 

We dare not travel far. 

Who treads a narrow valley 

Forgets the mountain way; 

And in the water's fall will miss 

The rainbow of its spray. 

One cannot gaze from cellar walls; 

The view is from the tower, 

And he who dares not live and dream. 

Will miss love's golden hour. 


The young moon traced a message 
Last night, in letters pale, 
Across the winter heavens 
With her crescent fingernail. 

She wrote of rushing rivers, 
Of geese on homing wing. 
Of roots beneath grey mosses 
That felt the urge of spring. 

And told of furry creatures— 
Their eager eyes aglow, 
And tender little crocus 
Against a tardy snow. 


She wrote of warm life pulsing 
In every bush and tree— 
Until a thrill of wonder 
Swept the very soul of me! 

I know that frost still lingers, 
And ice is in the floe, 
But spring is coming . . . coming! 
The young moon told me so! 


I have a little haunted house, 
My very secret own, 
Where happy ghosts of yesteryear 
Are gathered, quite alone. 

The first . . . my careless merry Youth, 
A brave ghost, and so fair! 
My heart beats swiftly when I come 
Upon it, standing there. 

Another of Ambition. Ah . . . 
Dear ghost of trusting years! 
Oft'times I cannot see its face 
For looking through my tears. 

Then one of timid early Love 
I thought long laid to rest, 
But it returns at dead of night 
To lie upon my breast. 

Ah, yes, I have a haunted house, 
Where ghosts of memory stay, 
But with the dawn's first waking smile, 
They laugh . . . and flee away! 



Tears in the rain. 
Sighs on the breeze. 
A bend in the rushes. 
A droop to the trees. 

Wood by the fire. 
Red in the West. 
Sheep in the [old. 
Cattle at rest. 

Smoke on the hills. 
Geese in the sky. 
Late valiant weeds 

Waiting to die. 

Summer is gone 
With its passion and play, 
The yeai lilts its burden 
And goes on its way. 


A ki^s may be beauty . . . 
Of delieate grace, 
That illumines the soul 
And reflects in the i 

A kiss may be prayer, 
A kiss may be pain, 
Or a harlequin sham 
That is offered for gain. 

A kiss may be sorrow. . . . 
A passion's good-bye, 


That began with a flame 
And ends with a sigh. 

But the kiss that we covet 
And hold to the last, 
Is the kiss that has lived 
When the others have passed. 


Little tree in alley-way, 
Stark, alone and bare, 
Reaching out your empty arms . . . 
No one near to care. 

Where are all your baubles gay, 
Tinsel, bright and new? 
Saddest thing on earth to find 
That a task is through! 

Never mind, my little tree, 
What is lasting fame? 
Once a year they think of you 
When they speak His name, 

Dream of hills and winter skies, 
You have earned your rest, 
You have carried Bethlehem's 
Star upon your breast! 



The daisies kissed the feet of you 
That day in Spring. 
You stepped so lightly on the green, 
The grasses sprang in gayer sheen. 
But oh, such beauty could not last. . . 
You passed! 

I boldly kissed the lips of you 
That day in Spring. 
You smiled so brightly in my eyes, 
My heart was carried to the skies! 
But oh, such rapture could not last. . 
You passed! 

Oh, could I reach the heart of you 
As in the Spring, 

You might remember daisies gone, 
The idle kiss . . . the broken song, 
And then, perhaps, regret at last. . . . 
You passed! 


I cannot place your features, dear, 
Though beautiful they were, 
Nor quite remember how you dressed- 
Such silly trifles blur. 

IVe all but lost your charming name, 
However sweet it rang; 


And whether notes were high or low- 
That happy day you sang. 

But, oh my dear! I'll not forget . . . 
Though parting followed after, 
The thrill that lasted down the years 
From mem'ry of your laughter. 

There were so many other loves 

Don't blame a man, my dear! 
'Tis better to retain a laugh, 
Than to recall ... a tear! 


I am singing a soft little song of my own, 
A song with a plaintive refrain, 
That is woven of memories silvery clear, 
And strung on a quiver of pain. 

And the lilt of the soft little song that I sing, 
Is whispered in cadences low, 
For fear I shall lose the last note of your voice, 
And the sound of your step ... as you go. 

Yes, Fm singing a soft little song of my own, 
A weird little song of unrest, 
To keep up my courage in years that must come, 
When grief shall be breaking my breast. 

And the words of the soft little song that I sing, 
Are as old as the sea and its wave. 
'Tis a song that all women at sometime must learn 
"Dear God . . . keep me brave! Keep me brave!" 



Allah gives light 
From burnished skies, 
Then sends a cloud 
To rest the eyes. 

Allah gives love 
With fierce desire, 
Then sends swift tears 
To quench the fire. 

Sands are brazen, 
Shade gives rest. 

Oh, my beloved 

Allah knows best! 


Restless hearts of youth, with eager eyes 
Fixed upon the distant hills of dreams, 
Where the fair and emerald verdure gleams, 
Do you know how far away they rise? 
Do you know how long the road, that lies 
Twisting, winding, rough— though straight it seems- 
Scarred by rock and torn by rushing streams? 
Can you reach the top, e'er summer dies? 

Keep your dreams; but let them calmly rest 
Veiled in kindly distance— seen afar- 
Hiding every crevice, cliff and scar. 
Keep them just ahead of you each day. 
Heights we never reach seem always best! 
Hills are ever greener ... far away! 



Set to music by Charles Wakefield Cadman 

The snowflakes at my window, 
Seem little petals white 
From cherry trees a-glimmer 
In a misty April light. 

I close my eyes in mem'ry 
At the subtle faint perfume, 
That drifts across my senses 
In that darkened wintry room. 

I dream of fairy orchard, 
Of ships upon the bay, 
Of kisses laid on trembling lips 
Before I sailed away. 

Oh, little ghosts of memory, 
Of fragrance in the rain, 
Are you not also whispering 
Against her window-pane? 

Does she— dear God— remember 
My love of long ago? 
Or are these cherry blossoms 
To her . . . but flakes of snow? 


Every tree is a temple rising fair, 
Every scent of its balsam breath a prayer, 
Every hill wears a snowy diadem, 
Every star is a Star of Bethlehem. 

Every home is an altar, whitely spread, 
Every meal is of consecrated bread, 
Every mother's brow bears love's own sign, 
Every lowly babe is a child divine. 



What need to give you withered rose 
To quicken memory? 
Do you not know a garden blooms 
Within the heart of me? 

Where I may find a sweeter flower 
Than any culled as yet, 
And send to you on wings of thought 
That you may not "forget." 

Then touch it gently with your lips 
To pay a friendship's toll. 
It may not be a blossom . . . but . . . 
A fragment of my soul! 


The hum of motor beneath my feet, 
Long ribbons of silvery road, 
And a gay little face so near to mine. 
(On a honeymoon a la mode.) 

The trees swing back to watch us pass, 
Seeming to curtsey low. 
A whirl of dust and a sign "detour" . . . 
("My dear, I told you so!") 

A clutter of houses ... a store or two . . . 
The rush of a farmer's cat. 
The shout of a village constable— 
("My word, what town was that!") 

The distant spire of a country church, 
The passing flight of a finch, 


A flutter of hens on the roadway's edge 
("I missed that one by an inch!") 

A brook to cross by a willow row, 
A field of golden grain, 
The spatter of clouds in an azure sky,— 
("Dear me, do you think 'twill rain?") 

Another road . . . another town 

One swiftly stolen kiss! 

So, on . . . and on . . . and on . . . and on . . 

("Good gosh, what State is this ! ! !") 


Dull purple skies, heavy with anger, 
Greying to masses of confused 
And tumbling clouds. 

Wind, tearing itself free 

From invisible chains 

And whipping the trees with its lash, 

Driving the fallen leaves before it, 

Like little children blind with fright, 

Churning the pond into frothy waves 

Creamy as the foam of yeast. 

Peals of muffled drums 

Rolling in advance of the army . . . 

The army of lashing rain. 

Artillery . . . cannonading . . . 

Then suddenly . . . 

White fire! 



Green vines must have a place to cling, 
Young birds a nest in which to swing. 
And I— must have a heart to sing! 

Soft night enfolds each star above. 
And shelter waits the homing dove. 
So I— must have a heart to love! 

But blossoms chill in evening dews. 
And passing feet the grasses bruise. 
So I— must have a heart to lose! 


The wind blows West 
And the world of play 
Has calmed to the peace 
Of even-day. 
With fading fires 
In the cooling sky, 
And a spiral of smoke 
From a hearth near by. 

The wind blows West 
And the world of pain 
Has eased its fever 
In sleep again. 
With a chiming bell 
On a hillside far, 
And the one small lamp 
Of an evening star. 



A bird within a house of wire. 

A sparrow on the sill. 

A life caged in by golden bounds, 

Another, free of will. 

One rendered care and warmth and love, 

One left to storm and sleet. 

One safely sheltered, night and day, 

One . . . out upon the street. 

But, oh, if I were bird on wing 

And God had given me choice, 

I'd rather be a sparrow grey 

Than he of golden voice. 

No matter what my hardsome fate, 

I'd want my pinions free! 

Which shows perhaps, when all is said, 

The vagabond in me! 


After you have handled 
Soil and stain and sin, 
Things of life look cleaner far, 
From within. 

Folks seem far more human, 
Pity comes at call, 
Some good found in everyone 
After all. 

Through the grime of failure 
Clearer visions rise. 
Did not Christ use mud to heal 
Poor blind eyes? 



Lead us in those realms of daring, 
Fighting, thieving, singing, swearing, 
Where wild tales rang fierce and gory; 
Where each dawning brought new glory. 
Tell us of your love and yearning . . . 
Dreaming, striving, throbbing, burning, 
Never fait 'ring . . . never turning . . . 
Francois de Villon! 

Let us feel your strength and valor, 
Fervor, courage, passion, choler, 
For the flaming sword of might! 
For the gleaming cross of right! 
Tell us of each fierce endeavor . . . 
Clinging, grasping, holding ever 
To your vision . . . failing never. 
Frangois de Villon! 

Whisper of your love so tender, 
Lover, boaster, Knight, defender, 
And the lady of your passion, 
Whom you won in wildest fashion. 
Leader of your ruffian band, 
Poet-soldier . . . sword in hand . . . 
For your lady and your land! 
Francois de Villon! 


We are nearing a mile-stone, you and I, 

Where we live our lost youth again, 

When we speak of the "good old days" with pride 

Or "do you remember back when—" 

The years pass quickly— the sands fall fast— 


Each birthday a swift-turned page, 

For we've reached late afternoon, my dear, 

The years they call "middle-age." 

We have sowed our oats— some were "wild" I admit 

And patiently gathered them in. 

We rejoiced when the crop was full and fair, 

And bemoaned when we reaped our sin. 

But we're glad today that the follies are past 

And the dangers safely gauged, 

And sigh with relief over hot blood cooled 

By the peace of middle-age. 

So come, let us toast to the ripening years, 

To the lilt of the pendulum's swing, 

And drown all worry, our fret or our fears 

Over sorrows the future may bring. 

We are all of us treading the very same road, 

The Youth is dissolved in the Sage, 

So, drink then, I say, to the comforts and calm 

Of respectable middle-age! 


She dwells alone, who has not pressed 
Soft baby lips against her breast, 
Or soothed a whimp'ring, sleepy cry 
With motherhood's first lullaby, 
Or has not fought for life— with death— 
To hear her child's first wailing breath. 
Though friend and lover she has known 
God pity her! She dwells alone! 



I need the seasons . . . every one . . . 

The grey . . . the gold . . . the green, 

From travail of a waking spring 

To autumn's tardy sheen. 

I need the mettle of the frost 

Sunk in my blood and bone. 

I could not armor for the fight 

With softer things alone! 

I want to turn toward the storms 

And learn of them my place, 

For otherwise, how could I meet 

Soft breezes on my face? 

I want to see the snow-clouds lower . . . 

Their weight of crystal fling 

For when I've learned to breast Life's gale, 
[Ve earned the right ... to Spring! 


To lean against a growing tree 

And hear it sigh; 

To watch a bird stretch untried wings 

Toward the sky; 

To hear a new-made mother croon her first 

Soft lullaby; 

Means summer . . . summer! 

To see the painted, flaunting weeds 

In country lanes; 

To smell the warm and fragrant fall 

Of quiet rains; 

To feel an unnamed longing pulsing 

Through your veins; 

Means summer . . . summer! 



Spring weaves a bit of blue 

Upon a river . . . the merest sliver . . . 

Against a deeper hue. 

And in the orchard's shade, 

All crimson spotted . . . with sunlight dotted 

A snowy strip is laid. 

Then lilies tucked between, 

So warm and pearly ... in morning early . . . 

Against a splash of green. 

With gold of buttercup, 

Mid purple heather ... in fragrant weather . 

Where bees ecstatic sup. 

Until above earth's bed, 

Designs mosaic . . . not one prosaic . . . 

Spring's patchwork quilt is spread. 


God give us rivers swift 
And strength to breast 
Each unknown unseen bend, 
Until with calm and steady oar 
We come to "River's End." 

God give us mountain tops 
And will to climb 
Each untried turret far, 
Until with eager finger-tips 
We touch the nearest star! 



Suppose the roses never came again, dear, 

And winter held us fast in frozen sway, 

Would you remember— heart-of-mine— the blooming, 

And all the beauties of this summer day? 

Suppose that romance never came again, dear, 
And age crept down upon us, dull and grey, 
Would you remember— heart-of-mine— the rapture, 
And tropic passion of this radiant day? 


A dozen little harmonies 

The chortle of a rill, 

The dancing of a briar-bush 

Upon a sunny hill. 

Some pussy-willows whispering 
Beside a meadow lake, 
The faintest chime of harebells 
Swung blue against the brake. 

The dirge of Autumn cornfields 
That once were emerald sea, 
A forest's solemn requiem 
Above a fallen tree. 

The melody of one loved name, 

The laugh behind the tear 

There's far more music in this world 
Than we're attuned to hear! 



A dying sunset stretched across the sky, 
Spilling its crimson blood upon the snow, 
As one who having met a stronger foe, 
Can only brave a parting smile and die. 
Above, the night-birds sound their eerie cry: 
Vast legions, wailing dirges as they go 
In full retreat, forsaking, far below, 
The battlefields, where dead of summer lie. 

Then twilight's curtains, thick and darkly drawn 
Across the bier of day, where candlelight 
Of stars ... set in a solemn watch 'til dawn 
At head and feet ... in holy brilliance shine, 
While winds majestic, through the long cold night, 
Their requiems chant among the lonely pine. 


My love beats upon your heart 

Like a cry! 

But your life is so filled 

With its own melody 

That you cannot hear. 

My love leaps across your heart 

Like a flame! 

But your life is so a-light 

With its own glory, 

That you cannot see. 

My love mourns over your heart 

Like a sob! 

But your life is so content 

With its own sympathy 

That you will never know. 



They say that he rode alone, 

That pathway of sea and sky, 

With only his youthful heart and hand 

And the glint of a dream in his eye. 

But I know that the spirit of men, 
Explorer and pioneer, 
Returned from the years to sit by the side 
Of this aerial charioteer. 

He rode to the music of wings, 
Where the fogs of space sweep broad, 
He rode with the souls of crusaders gone 
And perhaps he rode . . . with God. 

(to m. m .) 

You gathered lavender . . . 

Those hands, that are not less 

In sweetness than the flowers, 

Touched lovingly the grey-green stems 

And faintly purpled blooms. 

I know you smiled . . . 

And in so doing, eased the pain 

The blossoms must have felt 

At parting from your touch 

To come to mine. 

Dearheart, I cherish every breath 

Of fragrance that they brought, 

Knowing a bit of You . . . 

Your soul, perhaps . . . 

Came with them all the way! 



I'm thankful— though the cynics laugh- 
That earth's a happier place, 
That hope lifts high a golden torch 
And charity spreads grace. 
That honor is a vital thing 
And not a visioned wraith. 
Do you suppose that God gives thanks 
That He created Faith? 

I'm thankful for my own hearth fire 

And steaming dish o' tea, 

For fragrance of a baby's face 

A-cuddled close to me. 

I'm thankful for your warm sweet mouth 

And eyes that shine above. 

Do you suppose that God gives thanks 

That He created Love? 


I met you after all these years 

And facing you, what did I say? 

Swift words that fell like streaming tears, 

Or common phrases of the day? 

And did I break the barriers down 
That rose between us like the sea, 
Or did I nonchalantly frown 
And ask— "Do you remember me?" 

Whatever foolish words I used, 
The gleam was there from memory's store, 
My heart was crying . . . torn and bruised . . 
"Why did you never come before!" 



There's a lull at the advent of evening, 
When the birds hush their carols of day, 
And the blooms in the garden hang weary 
Like children soon tired of their play. 
There's a cool little breeze in the valley 
From shadows that slant down the hill, 
And it seems as if life were suspended 
For earth lies so tranquilly still. 

There's a lull in the heart's wild emotion 
At the end of a day spent and long, 
Like the darkness that closes the blossoms, 
Or the silence that follows a song. 
When life seems so intimate . . . tender, 
When secrets are breathed soft and deep, 
And the dreams that are waiting press closer 
At the gates of the Valley of Sleep. 

So to age comes the quiet of twilight 
When our work and ambition is spent, 
And we rest in the cool of the garden 
With our weary hands folded . . . content. 
And we peer with dim eye t'ward the Westward 
Where the years with their memories glow, 
For we've come to the turn of the evening 
When the sound of the grinding is low. 


A candle burning in the sun . . . 

Rain upon the sea 

Perfume sprinkled on a rose . . . 
Passing pride— in me! 



She lifted up a rose 
That had been trampled under foot 
And soiled by the mire of the street. 
Tenderly she washed its pink face 
And placed it in a glass of cold water. 
The rose raised its bruised petals 
And smiled into the face of her 
Who had given back . . .Life! 

She lifted up a woman 
Who had been trampled under foot 
And soiled by the mire of the street. 
Tenderly she healed the bruised heart 
And gave to it a draught of new hope. 
The woman raised dull, weary eyes 
And smiled into the face of her 
Who had given back . . . God! 


I was not aware of birth! 

Love held me closely to its heart, 

And I was wrapped 

In the silence of Life's mystery. 

Still hold me, Life! Enfolded 
Against the great heart of Love, 
So that at the end 
I shall not be aware of death! 



I have never asked for a romance 
That is swift as a flame and soon passed, 
I have never hoped for a passion 
That would burn to grey ashes at last, 
But I've dreamed of a heart that is gentle; 
For a faith that is true as the day, 
And that Life would save me a corner, 
Where Love tucks one out of the way. 

A corner that tenderly shelters, 
Where none of the others may come, 
With a bright little fire on the hearth-stone 
Of a heart that is truly mine own. 
Far away from the world's Gypsy pathways 
Where trust can remain sweet and true, 
Just a corner to tuck me away in— 
Where you know I'll be waiting for you! 


I passed her on the street . . . 
A nun! 

Black was her robe— as sable as the sins 
She never knew. 
Smothered in garments 
Righteously drawn about 
Her lovely woman's body. 
White faced— as truly pure a flower 
As ever grew on mortal stem- 
But with that whiteness all burned clean 
Of earthly love, as ashes 
Grey and purged from flame. 


... I passed her on the street 

And wondered if her heart 
Were really dead! 

I passed her on the street . . . 

A harlot! 

Gay-decked with baubles— colored as the joy 

She never knew. 

Flaunting for all to see, 

With brazen grace, 

Her lovely woman's body. 

Bright-faced, with eyes that peer and pry 

Into the baser thoughts of men— 

But with that brightness covering 

Stark hopelessness, and tarnished 

From her shattered dreams. 

... I passed her on the street . . . 

And wondered if her soul 

Were truly dead! 


I heard the sound of music 
Advancing with the sea, 
A chorale sung by rushing surf 
In wildest rhapsody. 

Then as the tide went slowly out, 
It softened more and more, 
Till only waves were fingering 
The keyboard of the shore. 



When Grandma sings in quavering tone 

A quaint old-fashioned air, 

I seem to see the little ghosts 

Of gardens everywhere. 

The holly-hocks so proud and tall, 

The pansies . . . kitten faced, 

And all those shady winding paths 

That fragrant lilacs graced. 

When Grandma sings, I know that tears 
Lie close to every note, 
And memory, like a little sob, 
Creeps in her dear tired throat. 
For in that garden full of ghosts, 
Where dreams return in truth, 
I know that Grandma lives again 
Her romance . . . and her youth. 


God, let me paint a tree 
With vivid living hue, 
Gleaming in summer rain 
Against the blue! 

Paint, paint, my child, 
But not until you see 
The bend of storm-wind 
To each branch's tip, 
The trembling quiver 
Of each leafy lip. 
Then you can paint a tree! 


God, let me sing a song, 
A song of human love, 
That chorals 'till the echo rings 
To heights above. 

Sing, sing, my child 
But not till you can be 
Attuned to pain; to grief 
Of long sad years. 
For melodies are born 
Of love's own tears 
In life's Gethsemane. 


A wind swept down from summit's peak 

In cruel sweeping blast 

A bandit-wind that bade them bar 

The wooden shutters fast. 

A wind that tore at rugged pine 

And bent the sapling low, 

That heralded advancing ranks 

Of whirling drifting snow 

It strove to break the forest's strength 
Where giants roared their rage, 
With gallant courage in their sap 
Like warrior blood, in age. 
But pines deep-rooted in the earth 
Can thwart the North Wind's breath 
So, loyalty to right and God 
Will stand— unmoved— till death! 


I o/( / ()/ A \\ 11 I) THING 

[Tic Fems are thick and moistly sweet 
\\ itli spii list my springing feet. 

\1\ DOStrils catch the scent of loam 

Beneath cool moss thai is my borne 
l tbove, the In ing tit 

mottled shadows <>! their leavi 
A brook runs clear. ..a chuckling thing, 
Where passing blackbirds dip a wing. 

D G d, the wodd was meant lor play! 

. . . and then 

iron laws snapped . . . 

A trap 1 

\K lad] ui ars hi i em w fur ooet, 
Soft . . . warm as linsi hei tin 


I lands, lei him . 

i in ide him n 

a shining Ik ad to sturdy i- 
See 1. d in pride, 

! [( .. 54 II imp atant his small Stride. 

Wave to him , . . smile . . . pi L youi I 

not hold tl; 

I lands, let him 

II irt, let him J 

') I him sheltered, warmed and led, 

1 nan d ring's bed, 

But youth is calling ... life grows sweet, 


And voices challenge from the street 
Counsel him . . . smile . . . put sell aside. 
He bids Farewell with such brave pride . . . 
Heart, let him go! 

Love, let him go! 

You cannot fill his manhoods life, 

'Tis his to choose a maid lor wife, 

Tis his to woo and his to mate. 

And yours to lose. Oh, sweet, sad fate! 

So bless him . . . smile ... as lorth he Fan 5, 

Then breathe his deal name in your prayers 

Love, let him go! 


Dear lad, with wonder in your eyi 
And pride upun your brow. 
What do you see i rom out your dreams 
Beyond horizons now? 

What strange gifts will your fingers grasp, 
What roads your foosteps tn ad, 

\\ hen present jovs no Longer thrill 
And present loves lie dead? 

What battles must you bravely laee 

With Futile blood-stained goal? 

\\ hat grids or pain . . . and oh, what sins 
Will struggle tor your soul? 

Dear lad, could I go Forth with you 

To cheer or to condone. 
But I shall be- but memory, 

And you must walk— alone! 



He walked the village street 

Day after day, 

Noting the early flowers 

Or autumn's glow, 

\\ arching the winding river's 

Idle flow. 

He split huge logs and punted 

Down the stream. 

I [e loved and lost an early 

Youthful dream. 

It was a small, poor village 

Till he came, 

I hen suddenly acquired 

An honored name. 

i Ie talked with oldsters 

And the youth at play. 

In front of tavern or the 

' C k oeral Store," 

\\ inle neighbors grew to love him 

e and more— 
This tall, thin man with sad 
Prophetic smile, 
Who lived among them lor 
A little while, 

And shared their humble lives 
Then went away, 
But fame has marked New Salem 
Since that day! 

i 5 8 


Blue is by the trellis 
Brightly brave and tall, 
Pink is next the pathways 
Quaintly sweet and small. 

Golden flaunts the sun-dial 
Lavender beside, 
White is on the lily-pond, 
Virgin as a bride. 

In the honeyed sweetness 
Hum the drunken bees, 
Butterflies delirious 
Tumble on the breeze. 

Pigeons in the arbor, 
Swallows high above. 
Roads were made for wanderers 
But gardens all for love. 



Let it be Spring 
On my last day! 

A Spring of tender green ... of sunshine , 

Filled with promises of life . . . 

Not death. And let the lilacs 

Spill their purple bloom beside the wall, 

So that I may forget 

How dead leaves fall. 

Let nature lend her gayest mood 

To speed me on my way. 

So many tears I've known . . . 

Let me remember naught but smiles 

On my last day. 

May there be voung birds whispering 

Above me in the trees, 

A sudden rush ol warm sweet rain 

On thirsty 1< 

A rainbow and a cricket's chirp, 

An awkward lamb at play. . . . 

Oh, God of living things . . . 
Let it be Spring 
On my last day! 




He who creates new beauty shall not know 

The chilling sense of transitory spring 

Which wanes to thralldom under mounting snow 

Of age and sorrow's grievous burdening. 

And he who shares that loveliness will find 

The flames of life will never smolder low 

Nor sink to sullen embers in the mind 

But to the end will keep their gracious glow. 

Gail Brook Burket 



Tell me how a human tongue 

Can speak Parnassus and bring the glory 

Of old legends 

Redolent in song and story 

To conceptions of your own. 

Talent — yes, 

But with a rare ingeniousncss 

That literally transfigures words 

To flights of fancy 

And mortal mind delights. 

They seem like essences of asphodel 

Or golden leaves 

That on the champass dwell. 

Mildred Beatty 


'Tis never winter with you by my side. 

The cruel tempests never seem to blow 

And though my garden sleeps beneath the snow, 

I know the fragrant blossoms never died. 

I still recall the river, glistening, wide, 

Where steel-blue ice now checks its joyous flow. 

I see above me myriad song-birds go 

Toward warmer climes, where I shall ne'er abide. 

What need I, dear, of sun or warmth or flower? 
What means the flight of birds; their songs that died? 
With heartfelt joy I meet each passing hour, 
Though heavy falls the snow, gray clouds above. 
It does not touch the summer of my love. 
'Tis never winter with you by my side. 


To you, O, Master, that a world might hear, 
Came Music's benediction, vibrant, strong; 
Fined down to spiritual touch. A song 
Of power, of courage to the listening ear. 
And 'twas to you, that in grave days of fear 
And turbulence, men turned and trod along 
Your path— themselves a gallant throng- 
Led by melodic measures down the year. 

Know then, O, Master, there is neither place 
Nor boundary, nor clock-wise human time, 
That dares blot out nobility of face 
Or silence inner harmonies sublime. 
Your living music and your native land 
Are still within the hollow of God's hand. 

A sonnet written at the request of The Palm Beach News for the anniversary 
celebration of Ignace Paderewski. 1940. 



Did you ever see in the western land 

A narrow, winding trail 

And found that life and safety lay 

In that path so steep and frail? 

Over the rocks and around the hills 

Past canyon's rugged side, 

It leads you surely, safely on 

To the plains of the high "divide." 

Thus seems our troubled path in life, 

Like a trail on the western way. 

The winding road is bound about 

By problems we meet each day. 

The dangerous depths of the canyon yawn 

And boulders line its side, 

But place your faith in that narrow trail, 

For it leads to the "Great Divide." 


To walk along a gutter 

May aid an erring soul, 

And sharing with a tramp may help him 

Reach a long-sought goal. 

You need not meet his measure 
Nor lower to his views, 
Your contact only gets a little 
Mud upon your shoes. 

For still you see life's splendor 
Above the gutter's rim, 
From giving just that human touch 
That reached the soul of him. 



This half a century passes. 

Two wars have trod the stage. 

What will you write 

The second half 

To cleanse its tragic page? 

Will other wars still blot it? 
And strikes its growth delay? 
Will blood and sweat 
And bitter tears 
Forever have their way? 

The men of earth hate deeply, 
While children cry for bread. 
Disease — that 
Aftermath of war — 
Is burying its dead. 

The broken past is over, 
Its ruin 'round us lies. 
God grant we build 
Anew on LOVE — 
Before the century dies! 


I dream of gardens in the dusk 
Where haunting fragrance lies, 
I dream of small white clouds afloat 
Like ships, on azure skies. 

I dream of many things I love, 
The early dawn — the dew — 

And then I lay them all aside 

To dream, dear heart, of you! 

i6 5 



A searching little aerial 

For electronics rare, 

That brings a clearer word or tone 

From out the cluttered air. 

A butterfly or dizzy bee 
That seeks its honeyed way 
Within a nectar-laden flower 
On any summer day. 

But I have found the perfect one, 
My own antenna true, 
That gathers love deep in my heart 
1 hen carries it — to you! 


Let me find wealth in common things I knew, 
I he gold oi dandelion's bright, laughing hue, 
I he silver on a cobweb drenched in dew r , 

The royal robe or lilies by my gate. 

Give me perception in true wisdom dressed, 
Not cheaply w r on, but carved from rugged crest 
That once I climbed. And keep me hourly blest 
With the ability to think things straight. 

Let me see beauty where I once found soil, 
On hands of labor w 7 orn from constant moil, 
Bent backs and humble sw T eat of daily toil. 
Let me see courage in each low estate. 

1 66 

In every other Faith let me see good. 

A balanced diet in my mental food. 

Down passing years — sometimes misunderstood 

Let me dispel aversions bordering hate. 

Give me true knowledge of this life's last hour, 
That does not grant to death its seeming power, 
But let me cull my visions come to flower. 
So let me live— with wisdom — as I wait. 


I strove for silver — coin of realms — 

To buy myself exotic gems; 

Rich garments; home upon a bay — 

I grasped this wealth that came my way! 

But from the wisdom time soon brings, 

I found Fd bought such useless things. 

If I could now my life begin, 

I'd rather drink from a cud 

-of TIN! 

I fought for gold, its worldly power 
That makes us pay for every hour 
Of wealth, success, position, fame, 
Though often bearing honored name. 
But soon I learned gold never brings 
The pleasures found in simple things. 
I might have had more fun, alas! 
If I had changed to a mug 
-of BRASS! 



The fields are warm beneath the sun, 
The hills rise fair where young deer run. 
I would go forth when the hours permit, 
But I must stay by the hearth— and knit. 

I am old to the careless mind of youth, 
Though I'm wise. But who wants wisdom's truth? 
My limbs could serve, they are strong and fit 
Yet I must stay by my fire— and knit. 

I hear the ring of each passing voice. 
I let them go, though it's not my choice. 
The day will end, toe shadows Bit. 

I must light mv lamp in order— to knit. 

There is no need for my kind advice. 
I hey give me a roof, it will all suffice. 

I he young must rule— the old submit. 
Thank God, I am still allowed— to knit! 


My Maw has got a set of tools 
To keep folks' hands all clean. 
There's funny sharp an' pointed sticks 
An' scissors — curved an' mean. 
I'm not afraid of bats an' bugs 
An' wiggly worms an' snails, 
But I jus' hates likes everything 
To clean my finger nails! 

My Maw's got lots of woolly towels 
An' brushes, too, an' soap, 

1 68 

An' when she gets me in th' tub 
I jus' plumb give up hope! 
I'm not afraid of lions or bears, 
Boys never have such fears, 
But gee! How I do awf ly hate 
To wash behind my ears! 

An' when at last I'm tucked in bed 

My Maw she sez to me— 

"Now go to sleep. You're jus' as sweet 

An' clean as you can be!" 

Someday she'll make me use per-fume 

Or put my hair in curl, 

Why, gosh! I'm so darn clean at night 

I smell jus' like a girl! ! ! 


The hardest lesson for us, my friend, 

That we'll need to learn 

Ere the journey's end, 

Is not to suffer in silence grim 

Or work till we're tired 

In brain and limb 

But the lesson is this — 

To wait ! 

You laugh? Quite so, my doubting friend, 

But the truth is the truth — 

"To the bitter end." 

When we've captured patience, 

We've cheated fate; 

And when we have learned 

To wait — and wait — 

We will have learned — 

To live! 



There is a love when two work side by side 
From early morn till night, 

To build a bulwark gainst each threatening storm 
1 hat might dim out the light. 
To guard their own small hearth lire jealously, 
\\ here Listing flames are Fed, 
Io break in sweet communion ol two hearts 
Their daily bread. 

I here is a love when two lie side hv side 
After the lights are out. 
And quietly re live the happen 1 

That day has brought about 

A love that heals all Fancied, trivial hurts, 
\ hand clasps last to h md, 

And promises renewal ol .mother dav 

Beyond night's slumberland. 


In dark and muddy pools that lie 
Along the Winding way. 

Look lor th. reflected there, 

You'll find each tiny ray. 
Absorb the cheery, happy light 
Sent from the skies ab 
Forget the sullen waters black 
And see — reflected Love! 

In cloudy sky, in threat'ning storm, 

That darken earth's fair face, 

When 'cross the gray map of the clouds 


Is spun the lightning's lace, 

Look for the welcome, pattering rain, 

Forget the storm's wild strife, 

Watch how the flowers lift up their heads 

And see — reflected Life! 

In each man's soul, in each man's face, 

Where scars of life are lined, 

And sin or failure, want or woe, 

Is all you seem to find. 

Look for that tiny spark of good, 

Let charity be broad, 

Forget the sins, the scars, the wrongs, 

And see — reflected God! 


What have all their years become? 
Moving like a pendulum. 
Golden chains with mem'ries strung; 
Mind and heart forever young. 

Deeds of good they spread afar, 
I Ieedlcss of Life's calendar. 
Words of love that came to rest 
On each friend's responsive breast. 

Gold of kindness, gold of cheer, 
Strewn behind them— year on year. 
Till in evening — as in day — 
Golden gardens bless their way. 

Shall we say that time has flown? 
That it passed like petals blown? 
No, far better we should say — 
Love was with them all the way! 



Let Ale come back! 
My words fell sterile 
On a barren ground. 
My lessons lost 
Within the centuries 
Oi holy wars and conflicts 
In My name. 

Where dwells tlu Good Samaritan 
Who paused to aid a suffered 

1 be Clip ol healing water 
In My name? 

I he opened prison door : 
\\ hv should men die 

In hitter useless tends 

And little children starve. 

\\ hen loaves and fishes 

\\ err enough to feed 
My multitud 

\k- oome back 
And walk again on Galilee, 
Fo teach men new Beatitudes 

Of brotherhood and peace, 
lo pray once more in dark 
Gethsemane— " I by will, 

Mine, he done!" 
Knowing that God 
And man are one. 

Let Me come back 

To Calvary, and bleed fresh wounds 

And thirst upon the cross, 

And teach men how to say anew— 


"Forgive them, for they 
Know not what they do!" 

Let Me unwind the grave-clothes 

Of despair, and roll away 

The stone sealed with man's fear, 

And show the nail-prints 

And My riven side, 

To each bewildered soul. 

Let Me return 

This Easter Morn, 

To rise again with nations 

Of the earth, 

Where men unheeding 

Built their world on strife, 

And let Me sound 

My message once again— 

That hatred 

Of your fellow men 

Is Death— 

But Love 

Is Life! 


I have gathered too many flowers 

To notice their thorns. 

1 have known too many friends 

To fear a new enemy. 

I have seen too many stars 

To dread a darksome night. 

I have lived too long a life 

To be afraid of death. 



Do not delay me on my way. 
Roads end at last. 
There is so much I need to do 
Ere life is past. 

Do not disturb me while 1 dream. 
Hours are so few . 
i Iky might pass swiftly into space 
1 he while with you. 

Do not reprove me ii I love. 
life is so drear, 

\\ luit joy to find another heart 
1 li.u needs me hen 


Once more a N w Year creeps across the spaces, 

n 1 ime gazes kindly in our Fat 
We take a record ol the now past year 

! i see what gain and growth we measure In 

tin ambition newly lilts its head, 
iin we bury failures now long dead. 

And strive to leave behind all trivial things 
lo see a liner vision this vear brings. 

Another vear to finish work begun, 
To wipe the tears that past defeats have wrung, 
To sow new seeds and harvest on the way. 
A little while to dream— a while to play. 

Another year for beauty and for smiles, 
To walk with trust and truth the coming miles. 
But best of all, the joy this thought shall lend, 
Another year in which to be your friend! 


1 842- 1 942 

(These verses won the Centennial Hymn Contest, 1942, at the 100 year cele- 
bration of the Second Presbyterian Church, Chicago, Illinois.) 

These sacred walls: this home of prayer and praise, 
Rose from the Faith of pioneering days. 
These aisles of peace and noble transepts broad 
Built for the worship of our living God! 

Each early venture: brave beginnings all, 
Brought stalwart hearts that came at earnest call. 
Crusaders loyal sanctified this place, 
Light of a holy purpose on each face. 

Through grim destruction of a Civil War, 
Through fiery furnace at our City's door, 
Down past the years— a worthy hundred strong- 
Counting each gain on roads we marched along. 


No pomp or splendor count as values now, 
But crowns of service set upon each brow, 
Voices of children, raised in carols clear. 
Wisdom of age transcending every fear. 


Now at the close of this, a Century's turn, 
Come, let our thankful hearts in fervor burn. 
Our Christian life is sheltered in this fold! 
Our Faith and Love refined to purest gold! Amen. 

(Set to the iune of "God of our Fathers") 




They whisper in the dusk 
Alter a burning sun has set; 
Soft utterings of deep content 
As if they drank refreshment 
In the cooling air of night. 

Is it their fringe-like foliage 
Rustling in the vagrant wind 
Or is it the murmuring of prayer- 
()1 thankfulness for respite 
m another tropic day? 


Do you remember, loi e, 
. light oi lao 

ace ol little winds 
I ouching your Fao 

, a tender waltz . . . 

Music that yearned? 

Dreams, that when morning broke, 
r returned? 

i ) i you remember, love, 

Saying goodbye, 

While on the scented night 

Lingered your sigh? 

Still in my thoughts of you 

Memory will seem 

To bring back that waltz again 

Lost in a dream! 


(in her garden at malmaison, palm beach) 

She walked the simple paths 

Of wifehood, motherhood and home. 

She tended the flowers and loved the touch 

And smell of loam. 

Hers were the friendly hours 

Of daily tasks— of rest. 

All other secret flames 

She hid within her breast. 

Then suddenly they were too strong 

And fine to keep within 

Her soul, and as a flame can leap. 

From out a smothered hold, 

Swift cadence sprang, 

And liltingly released 

Her first poem sang! 

Perchance it takes long years 
Of home and motherhood 
To give Life loveliness 
That can be understood. 


Green, smooth and rich with oil, 
Gleaned from the golden warmth 
Of Florida's heart. 

How like the suave, cool monotone 
Of idle words; the oily tone, 
Intent of capture; 
The poise, impeccable and calm! 



Bending palms- 
Weird shrieks of wind, 
As if the ghosts of rival bands 
Of murdered pirates 
Burst from their hideouts 
In the Keys, to ride the skies 
On wild, black clouds. 

Scattered leaves from bougainvillea 
Ravished hibiscus blossoms, 
That were meant to nestle 
Seductively in the dark hair 

Of beloved women. 

Sand piled higher thai! dunes 

Smothering the gardens. 

N ght despoiled of her stars! 

But palms will grasp another hold 
On native soil, taking root again. 
Vines will quickly (lower. 
Tides will sternly sweep 
Marauder sand away. 

:s will look down 

From quieted heavens, to see 
Hial earth has recovered 
From the "Big Blow ! 


I cannot hear the merry sound 
Of sleigh-bells on the air, 
Nor see the snowflakes white as wool 
Spill crystals on my hair. 


But near me is a mocking-bird, 
I heard his song just then. 
So like an angel chanting "Peace 
On Earth, Good Will to Men." 

I need not be in certain place 
To hear that Christmas psalm, 
Its joyous message can be mine 
Beneath a pine— or palm. 


Oh, yes, there're a few of us always here. 
We're reluctantly carried down each year. 
We are Persians, Angoras, or Siamese 
And allergic to Florida's ticks and fleas! 

Our fur is thick and shiningly clean, 

Our eyes are bewitchingly blue or green, 

We have long, plumed tails and cute, short toes, 

For we've taken awards in the Beresford's Shows. 

We had fine winter coats when we sallied forth, 
But resemble skinned rats when we go back North. 
We are thoroughbreds, though, quite out of reach 
Of the year-round cats of West Palm Beach! 

And what do we do in our feline mood? 
Just wash and sleep and eat rationed food, 
Chase sand-flies around in dawn's pale light 
And cockroaches, venturing out at night. 

But before we trek on our homeward path, 
We are given a good, strong sulphur bath. 
Though we may find snow or a late Spring freeze, 
At least we'll be rid of the ticks and fleas! 



Day was a fabric 

Woven of exquisite colors; 

Dawn threads 

Pastel and fragile, 

The golden weave of noon 

Blended with the crimson 

Of opened roses 

And the ivory of magnolias, 

Flame tones at sunset 

Like spilled blood 

Or a conflagration, 

And with the twilight 

The royal of purple 

Bound with a saffron edge, 

Where the Fabric, completed, 

Fell from the loom, 

Dragging its I ringe 

Ol St UN. 


The young moon dipped toward the garden, 

Pointing with a crescent fingertip at a slumbering world. 

''Speak softly," she whispered, 

"See! The earth sleeps." 

But I only smiled for high above me 

In a gently swaying palm, 

A bird was madly singing to the velvet night. 

He and I were awake! 




We have barbecue a-plenty 
Found at any lunch-room stand, 
Brown and folded in a sandwich 
That we balance in our hand. 
We may find it crisp and tender, 
But how can such beef taste right 
When it needs a range of mountains 
First, to build an appetite. 

Now, on Rancho de los Trigos, 

On the Rio Pecos' bend, 

There's a latch-string loosely hanging 

And a hand for every friend. 

So before you're there a fortnight 

They have quite converted you 

That the nation's prize collation 

Is a pack-trip barbecue! 

It will mean an early rising, 
It will mean a late return, 
From a grey dawn to a twilight 
When the starry candles burn. 
You'll ride out on frisky bronco, 
You'll return on sleepy nag. 
You will start quite well provisioned, 
You'll bring back— an empty bag. 

In the stillness of the morning, 
Horses saddled, burros stacked, 
One with coffee pot and skillet, 
One with all the food-stuff packed. 
Extra coats in case of "Norther" 
Boots and chaps and 'kerchiefs gay. 


Leaving Rancho de los Trigos 
For the mesa far away. 

Heading eastward t'ward the river 
Stones are tumbling as you go, 
And you turn for one last glancing 
At the ranch house far below. 
You can see the cattle winding 
Out toward the grazing hill 
And you hear their bell quite clearly 
For the air is rare and still. 

On again with echoing laughter, 
Saddles creaking as you ride, 

I ill you see the Rio 1\ I 
I ike a silvery serpent glide. 
It is high Irom mountain rivers 

And your native bronc' must swim, 

>U draw your Feet Irom stirrups 
And consign the way to hi 



1 Ie will pause amid the rapids 
For a drink with lowered h 
While you note the crystal clearni 

Of the mountain riverbed. 

! you wish you were that bronco 
Drinking water Irom a stream 
That would make the gods' own nectar 
Fade from mern'ry like a dream. 

Once across the Rio Pecos 
You begin a steep incline 
And your path is ever winding 
Through a maze of spruce and pine. 
Up and up— amid green stillness- 
Round and round the horses climb, 


Till you've lost all sense of distance 
Till you've lost all count of time. 

When at last you reach the summit 
It is noon and very warm. 
Even aspens in the stillness 
Cease their trembling of alarm. 
On the ground the camp is started, 
So, dismounting, you recline 
With a sigh of lazy pleasure 
On a couch of fallen pine. 

There are those who turn the "quarter" 

That is roasting on its spit, 

There are those who rake the embers 

In the deep and glowing pit, 

There are those who make the ceffee 

Or who cut the chunks of bread, 

But you hope they'll leave you staring 

At the white clouds overhead. 

But a hunger in the open 
Is not satisfied with dreams, 
So you rise and join the others 
W T here the fragrant coffee steams. 
Onions frying in the skillet, 
Bread and butter, pickles, too, 
But the one "piece de resistance" 
Is— that roasting barbecue! 

Browned and rich from patient turning, 
Crisp without and rare within. 
And the carver standing 'side it 
Slicing portions thick or thin. 
Savory odors mixed with cedar, 
Appetites that never wane, 


Till an awful thought assails you— 
Can you mount your horse again! 

Then a sleepy, sweet siesta. 
Horses grazing in the grass. 
Swish of tail to break the silence 
Or the songbirds as they p 
Only when the slanting shadows 
Warn of eventide and dew. 
You arise and mount your bronco 
For the trail ahead of you. 

Back at dusk before the night falls. 

How serene the valley lies! 

Home COna] (or horse and rider 
Underneath the Western sk 
Just another day is over— 

For the besl of days must end— 
At the Rancho de 1<>s Trigos* 

On the Ri< ; bend. 

New Mexico 


The fog is sweeping in, 

Grev and silent 

It is like a veil 
Of soft, old lace 
That Spanish senoritas 
Drape over white shoulders. 
The fog is not cold, 
Only tenderly cool. 
Like a very young child's 
Wet kiss. 



The dulcet Spanish name 
For a butterfly, 
Tinted with the colors 
Of happiness. 

A delicate flower 

Shaped like its winged namesake. 

A county in California 

Where both flower and butterfly 

Make life more lovely. 

But better far— 

A gallant ship named for all three. 

For winged swiftness, 

For lines of beauty, 

And for the dignity 

Of her countryside— 



A sharp and cruel cluster 

Of protecting leaves 

Pointed and keenly thorned, 

Each folded jealously 

About its neighbor, 

Shielding a softer heart beneath. 

How like the terse 

And brittle words 

That oft-time cover pity! 

With such a direful shelter 

What wonder friends are 

Warned away, 

And enemies are pricked 

Until blood flows! 

i8 5 


I would not trade a single stately tree 
For gardens all ablaze with myriad flowers 
And splashing fountain tossing rainbow showers 
Or shores along the restless sweep of sea. 
I would not trade the forest's silent plea 
That draws and holds me in its mystic powers, 
For vaulted, snow-tipped mountains' rocky towers 
Or canyons' depth, or deserts, sweeping m 

For deep within this empire's verdant shade, 
\\ here redwoods rise in awesome majesty, 
And plaid ol mottled shadows iold around 

I alien russet needles on the ground. 
A silent reverent temple God has made, 
I stand through ages oi eternity. 


The sun went down 
In a rush ol glory, 
As it it were anxious 

lea\ e us to our night 
1 he amber lights 
Of the great bridge 
Sprang alive like huge fireflies 
As we stood watching. 
One light had gone into the horizon 
But others were taking its place. 
The mammoth span 
Of the bridge was black 
Against the pale sky, 
Like a huge spider-web 
Spanning the Golden Gate 
And the Bay. 
We were there— together— 
For it was San Francisco. 
Our home! 

1 86 



The gnarled trees are hunched against the gale. 
The tide is full; the surf rolls white with foam; 
Above me, scurrying clouds are dimly pale- 
But, oh, this rugged headland is my home! 

The rage of winter shrieks along the shore, 
The sky and sea's unrest may never cease, 
And with the night, wild, lusty winds may roar, 
But still my heart is warmed and filled with peace. 

For rocks stand fast with stern and ageless strength 
Like pioneers in stoic days of yore. 
No matter if I stray the wide world's length, 
My heart still dwells upon New England's shore! 


Hot baked beans 

On the Sabbath morn, 

Flavored with pork 

And molasses. 

Apple pie to top it off— 

My, how the swift 

Week passes! 

Next comes church 

And a sermon long, 

Hell-fire for 

Each sinner! 

Then back home to eat again 

My, what a 

Whopping dinner! 

i8 7 


Little grey pigeon with mild brown t ) 

\\ by do you wing where the wild bird li 

Why do you yearn lor the far-away Bight 

And where will you rest in the chill ol the night. 

Little grey pigeon with soft white bn 
Try to remember that home is the Ix 
Trj to accept that you're only a d 
And rest here secure in the folds of mv I 

I drove through a kaleidoscope of color. 

I pa/ ol m^ple. luibv of oai and sumach. 
Bush berries lay on the i round 

Like spilled garni 

1 he jewel lx>\ <>i autumn. 

Put them all 

a them with the thick, protective 
Cotton of snow. 
And the cellophane 
Of ice! 


I low many feet h the old, old stil 

The maid in hoop skirts found it difficult 

So called her lovers to the rescue. 

They took their time to help her over 

And perchance to sit upon the topmost step to dream awhile. 

Oh, you who pass by in motor cars or fly above in plane, 

Will never know the timid kiss; the toll 

For helping a sweetheart over the old, old stile. 

1 88 


The little animals 

Have put on their winter coats 

Of thick, soft fur. 

They scamper happily 

Over the frozen ground. 

Run swiftly, little ones, 

But remember the traps 

With their cruel teeth! 

For my lady tells me she needs 

A new fur coat this winter. 


The old mill still revolves, 
Its life unchanged with years. 
The winds of centuries still blow, 
The rain still spends its tears. 
But windmills cannot know 
There is no need to grind; 
That modern life has rushed ahead 
And left old mills behind. 


Tears are only April showers, 
Pain, a brief sojourn. 
Soon the sun will shine again, 
Soon will smiles return. 

Patience then, oh gentle heart, 
Through each weary hour. 
If we had not rain to fall, 
Life would never flower. 



The Conestoga days are past. 
The covered wagon could not last. 
But often on some lane there rears 
The covered bridge of other years. 

The dusk and coolness of its span 
\\ as kind to beast and good to man. 
The scent of clover always hung 
\\ [thin its depth, like tunes long sung. 

I note the ruin time has made, 
Yet still I love its murky shade, 
And leel a twinge of real reproof 
To drive my auto 'neath its roof. 


The fishing nets are drying on the pier, 

I he smell of salt and sea is on the air, 

Boats dip in little eurtsevs to the waves 

While winds with gleeful mischief toss my hair. 

1 wish I had a little boat to sail, 
For sun and summer winds would set me free. 
And I would leave my grief upon the shore 
To set my course toward some distant sea. 

But seas are lonely when the twilight falls, 
The stars are dim, the moon is coldly white. 
So I might need a lover by my side 
Before I sail my boat of dreams this night. 







A Sky— a Light— a Star— 

A Babe on manger hay. 

Three Wise Men traveling from afar. 

(Where are the "wise" today?) 

A Song— a Flight— a Word 

Of Peace unto all men, 

That Bethlehem's humble shepherds heard. 

(Will angels sing again?) 

A Fear— a Hate— a War- 
Sweet country-sides defiled; 
White sepulchers on ocean's floor. 
(Stay near us, Holy Child!) 

A Faith— a Hope— a Prayer. 
Pale star-flowers in the grass. 
A lasting calm for man and beast. 
(God! Let it come to pass!) 



Through fires of battles 
Seen from afar, 
Rises, majestic, 
Bethlehem's Star. 
Angels still chanting 
Life's Te Deum— 
Chin up, good soldier! 
Christmas has come! 

Temples have fallen, 
\ :ions have bled, 
Depths of the oceans 
Bury their dead. 
Shepherds have long since 
I led from the plain- 
Chin up, good soldier! 
It's Christmas again! 

Mothers in Belgium, 

\i< tbers in Rome, 

Madonnas in every land 

Praying at home. 

What can you say to these 

Givers ot men? 

"Chin up, good soldier! 

It's Christmas again!" 

Mary bends over 
The Babe on her knee 
Sensing His one day 
Smiling, she whispers 
Words through a tear— 
"Courage, wee Saviour! 
Thy Birthday is here!" 



Huddled lambs on the hillside, 
Cool in the grass at night, 
Blinking in sleepy wonder 
At a sudden rush of light. 

Hush, little lambs, your bleating, 
Nothing shall bring you harm, 
Tis only a Star o'er a manger 
And a Child on His Mother's arm. 

Shivering children in Norway, 
Hungry children in Greece, 
Watching in frightened wonder 
A bomber's swift release. 

Hush, little babes, your weeping, 
Sleep in your distant bed, 
Soon will the Christ-love conquer, 
Soon will your hands hold bread. 

What are you doing, good shepherds? 
Giving of wealth and men? 
Clearing the skies of terror 
That angels may carol again? 

Fight for the world's wee lambkins, 
Crusaders— wherever you are- 
While over Bethlehem's manger 
Hangs the First Service Star! 



What do you fear this Christmas Day, 
Though shepherds fled Judea's hill? 
For I shall always feed My flocks 
And shelter trembling lambkins still. 

Why do you mourn as Christmas dawns, 
Though wars destruction sweeps the sky? 
For noise of battle never drove 
My angel voices from on high. 

Why do you weep My birthday morn? 
And why have brave lips ceased to smile? 
Do you not know that I have come 
To walk with you down war's last mile? 

Then why this doubt at Christmas-tide? 
Love's wise Creator— yours and Mine- 
Still sends My Star to light your way: 
Still gives you angel-songs divine! 



This foem is dedicated to Air Force 
Lt. Ross Beason, Jr., and to those 
others of whatever service or rank 
who, with him, trod war's last mile. 

The Bethlehem Star has turned to gold, 
And so— alas— has mine, 
Where once against the window-pane 
I saw a blue star shine. 

In Christmas' past, a tinseled one 
In its accustomed place 
On tip of lighted balsam tree 
Lit up his strong, young face. 

But in that hour— on battlefield 
Or out on thundering main— 
I know the Star of Bethlehem 
Shone on his face again. 

I like to think its beacon light 
Was smiling from above, 
The day God took him by the hand 
And led him home to Love. 


Dear little Saviour born this night 
Far on Judea's hill, 
Know You the many other babes 
Who are hearing war's echoes still? 

Do You see how they hunger and cry for bread, 
Shivering in their sleep? 

J 95 

Though angels sing of Your holy birth- 
Can you not hear them weep? 

They have shattered limbs and scars of wounds 
Left from a man-made hell. 
Little white Christ will You pity them? 
Touch them and make them well? 

The shepherds have fled from Bethlehem's hill 
Thy manger-bed's lost from view, 
Only the Star above them shines, as they 
Trustingly turn to You. 

Men of this torn, old world still hate, 
Wars still sound their alarms, 
Gather Thy children, New-born Christ, 
Into Thy comforting arms. 


Sleep safely in Thy manger bed, Sweet Child, 
Tonight the earth lies calm and undefiled. 
No evil menace wings the starry space 
To cast grim shadows on Thy holy face. 

Sleep calmly— there is joy upon the earth 

At this returning of Thy humble birth. 

The shepherds watch their flocks beside the hill 

Since thundering of war is spent and still. 

O tender Babe, let not men's evil might 
Defile again Thy birth of Love and Light, 
Nor drown the angel voices from on high, 
Nor blot the Star of Bethlehem in our sky. 




Up from the tumult of men 

Thundered a clarion huzzah! 

Up from the throats of victors 

Triumphant and shaken with glory, 

Careless of unhealed wounds, 

Of broken and bleeding bodies . . . 

Bodies that struggled back 

From the shattered meadows of Concord, 

Carrying blackened muskets 

And powder-horns now long emptied; 

Bodies that crept from the crimson 

Of Valley Forge and of Trenton, 

Frozen or reeking with sweat, 

Unwashed, unshaven and shrunken. 

Soldiers allotted to live, 

That sons might reap an abundance. 

Torches ablaze in the towns 
To welcome the victor's returning, 
Bugle or fife and drum 
Echoing down through the valley, 
Cheering the absent ones, 
Who could not respond to the calling, 
Those who were hopelessly maimed 
Or dying from war-bred fever. 
Deep in their lonely graves 
The farmer lay with the soldier— 
The old asleep with the younger- 
All in their rags enfolded. 
Barely the ground had time 
To cover their forms with verdure. 
How were their souls to know 
That warfare and anguish were over? 

Torn were the cities of men, 

In the council seats of the victors. 

Young in their years of grace 

And the governing of their Country. 

Leaders who cared not to rule 

But had suffered so long in silence, 

Now found their voices loud 

With words inspired in the speaking. 

Men with conscience of iron, 

With wills like the rocks of New England, 

Men with the fever of truth 

Aglow in their sternest convictions, 

Men who were carving alone 

The fate of an infant nation . . . 

Who need must build the foundation 

Upon which the house would be standing! 

Newly the trembling flag 

Flew from each turret and steeple, 

Bringing a rush of tears 

From eyes still reddened from battle, 

Bringing a prayer to God 

From lips but recently cursing . . . 

Prayers for man and beast, 

For home and women and children; 

Prayers for keener sight 

On these new and untried pathways . . . 

As when a hand— unchained— 

Is tremblingly stretched toward freedom. 

So, in spite of their fear, 

A flag was unfurled in its glory. 

God and a Flag and a Nation 

With Liberty for its people! 



The oldest member of that soldier band, 
Could not forget the comrades of his marches, 
Could not hear bugle call or clap of hand . . . 
Remembering those who slept beneath the larches. 
He wanted not a "De Profundis" read, 
Nor tears to water graves in silent places, 
But only asked for Memory's love instead, 
And spoke to those who raised exalted faces . . . 

\ . . We come today and living laurels bring, 
Not crepe— nor mournful voice— nor idle tears, 
For who are we to dare demand Life's spring 
And try to stay the harvest of the years? 
Then let us lift our faces— brave with smiles— 
And urge these venturing ones to press ahead 
Across eternity's triumphant miles, 
That we may follow where their steps have led. 

For joy remains of their dear radiance flown. 

The warmth is here— though all the fires are out, 

And in that kindly glow, we find their own 

Love's legacy— enfolding us about. 

So, ring your bells— but not a dirge, I pray! 

By grieving we admit death's victory. 

God never willed that clouds of earth-bound day 

Should blot the light of immortality. 

So, bring the living laurels for their crown, 

And ring the chimes triumphantly above, 

For memory lets her silvery ladder down 

And we are linked— to them— once more, through love!" 

. . . The old man faltered . . . looking out with pride 

Upon his townsmen, sunk in awe profound. 

They sensed a prophet and a worthy guide 

And knew they stood— with him— on holy ground! 



Oh God... 

Who saw this brave young land 

Rise from its chrysalis 

And try new wings . . . 

Didst Thou not pity 

Every trembling flight? 

Each thrust of frail antennae 

Against realities? 

Each gossamer glory of dreams 

Brushed from courageous wings 

While buffeting an untried gale? 

Oh God... 

Thou must have lent Thine aid 

To that new soul, 

That it didst grow so strong 

In its swift resurrection! 


Bearing with dignity, a name 
That was to ride the ages! 
A truthfulness and loyalty 
As white as the silvered dogwood 
Of his own Virginia hills- 
Yet underneath, a soul of steel 
Tempered in the furnace 
Of a thousand fires. 
To own such friend, 
Was never to feel alone 
In life again! 



From Sulgrave's grey and ancient manor-place, 
What nobler line of men than bred his race? 
What sturdier walls than Wakefield's broad estate 
Could rear him for a God-appointed fate? 
And by what holier name than "Mary" could 
The one who bore him, wear her motherhood? 

Oh, cradle of a nation, in whose morn 
Of history, what truer son was born! 

On trails across the wild and growing land, 
Time drove him with a stern relentless hand 
On brave new roads that faced a rising sun 
And led to Concord and to Lexington, 
On untried paths that were not always sweet, 
To hours of grief, and soldiers' bleeding feet. 

When rivers swift became an icy gorge, 
That bound the frozen hell of Valley Forge! 

To higher honors— as the full years slip- 
To Philadelphia and leadership, 
To final freedom and the end of strife, 
And then to home— and waiting arms of wife, 
To silent sleep upon Mount Vernon's breast, 
Where never troubled dreams disturbed his rest. 

Oh, Father of a People— dost thou see? 
America lives on— because of thee! 



Who had the courage 
Of abrupt decision, 
Fed frequently with humbleness 
When he was proven wrong, 
Yet never willing quite 
To take another's oath. 
Who had a tortuous lashing honesty, 
Not only with his neighbor, 
But himself. Who prayed 
For enemy and friend alike, 
Yet hoped he would not see 
The harvest of his prayers 
Yield plenty for his foes. 
Feared, even hated at times, 
But in spite of all- 
Well loved. 


Whose vision sped ahead 

Across the crowded years. 

A man with widened point of view, 

Whose mental frontiers 

Stretched on ahead 

Of other pioneers. 

Whose fine command of words 

Were often best obeyed 

When spoken little. 

Whose thoughts could fly 

Beyond the outer ears of men, 

And barnacle themselves 

Upon their minds 

Before the spoken word! 



Who knew the drive of work, 

Of grave responsibility, 

Yet never wearied of his tasks. 

Who met the trivial, dull routine 

As bravely as a splendid 

Battle front. 

Who loved his native State 

Above all else. 

The balsam, bayberry and flox, 

The "Dusty Miller," grey and ghostly 

In the midnight hour. 

The sentinel hollyhocks 

Like colorful battalions 

At attention. 

And best of all, the sea 

And smiling Sound. 

He loved his State, 

Yet would forego its sacred bounds 

To serve at Philadelphia 

His Nation. 


Who held in his heart two gods: 
One a jealous god of peoples, 
Who forced them into submission 
And poured a holy wrath 
Upon the wicked and their ways. 
The other, a god of forgiveness, 
Who saw that the unclean rabble 
Knew not what it was doing; 
Who wiped the noses of children 


Playing in the city gutters; 
Who bound the broken wings 
Of fledglings. A complex eternal 
Of mercy, and anger, and justice. 
A patriot stalwart and rugged, 
Who believed in home and children 
To further the land of his fathers. 
To such a man, was this nation 
A shrine, and in truth, a godhead. 


He kept his native hearth from discontent, 
His faith from doubt, his creed from arrogance. 
He sealed his smiling lips to words of hate, 
But opened them in kindly tolerance. 

He viewed each alien race with gentle pride 
In every fair achievement it might claim, 
Yet in his heart, revered his own dear land 
Enough to hold inviolate her name. 

He welcomed all who came to love and serve, 
Denouncing breeds that sought to undermine, 
And prayed, betimes, for honorable peace, 
Yet still preserved ideals from decline. 

He kept his country's flag unsullied, bright, 
With stars undimmed, with folds immaculate, 
And held the white democracy of life 
Above all else . . . His land! His flag! His State! 




High on the darkened timber 

Clung fragrance of wool and of wood-ash, 

Drifting in from the kitchen 

A mingling of sharp, sweet savors; 

Buckwheat, and home-cured ham, 

And pounded spice in a mortar, 

Maple sugar and jams 

On coarse breads baked in the oven. 

Blackened utensils of iron 

Hung from the crane by the fireplace, 

Shovel and bellows at hand, 

With warming-pan waiting the nightfall. 

Glinting of home-dipped candles 

On copper, red as a sunset; 

Pewter that held the heat 

From the wholesome food of the household. 

Rugs that were patiently woven 

Or hooked in intricate pattern, 

Lay en the rough worn boards 

That were scrubbed to ivory finish. 

Spindle and flax-wheel and yarn 

Awaited the wife's skilled fingers, 

When, at a late dim hour, 

The work of the kitchen was over. 

High in the lofts lay the pallets 

Where slept the numerous children, 

But on the wide, white couch 

In the noble room of their fathers, 

Smothered in feather-beds 

And quilts of the mother's piecing, 

Calmly the parents slept— 

The dominant heads of the family. 


Green grew the forests about them, 

Green or russet and golden, 

As each succeeding season 

Swung out a lavish paint-brush. 

Ancient elms that spread fan-wise 

With fringing of frail new branches, 

Trembling poplar, and birch 

With its pale bark painted in silver, 

juniper, balsam and fir, 

And the white pine dropping its needles 

Down upon carpets of fern, 

On thick and succulent mosses, 

On bushes that tangled the trail 

And were weighted with strange wild berries. 

Quaint were those early gardens 

Of hollyhock and azalias, 

Poppies with leaves of flame 

As thin as Japanese paper. 

Seeds that were brought from England 

Throve in Colonial sunshine 

Heedless of where they were sown 

Or where their maturity blossomed. 

Drunken with sunshine, the bees 

Ravished the purple clematis, 

Dipped into wine-cups of flox 

Then staggered away with their bounty, 

Eglantine sweet in the breeze, 

While down by the rugged shoreline, 

Saffron and wintergreen throve 

And blackberries, ripe for the gath'ring. 

Daily the good wife spun 

And prepared the meals for her family, 

Daily the men hewed pine 

And fed the stock in the barnyard, 

Daily the eldest sons 

Plowed the fields for the planting, 


And daughters of fair, sweet age, 

Milked the cows in the dairy. 

Daily the Scriptures were read 

And prayers devoutly repeated, 

While from the huge log fire 

Ascended a fragrant incense, 

Drifting above their heads 

That were bowed in humble submission, 

Unto the will of Him 

Who had blessed them with peace and contentment. 

Peace in their chosen land! 

Peace in the hearts of their children! 

Crowned with a trusting faith . . . 

"For of such is the Kingdom of Heaven!" 


She bakes and brews! 

Her hands are rough 

And broken from her toil, 

Her eyes behind rimmed spectacles 

Shine warmly in the glow 

Of oven-heat and candlelight. 

When death stalks ruthlessly, 

Amid the village folk, 

She hurries forth 

With mourning veils and crepe, 

With kind words on her 

Pale thin lips, 

And sympathetic tears. 

But best of all, 

Amid the chaos of affliction 

And of death . . . 

She bakes and brews! 



A quiet village church, 
White-walled and sweet 
With peace. 

A gravely earnest man- 
White in the service 
Of the years— 
Who spoke of godly living, 
Gentle admonition 
Kindly meant. 
No oratory, nor 
A boastful arrogance, 
No fine dramatic style, 
But just an old-time discourse 
On their common needs. 
And then— 

A prayer for all the world, 
Above the reverent heads 
Of those who sat 
With simple faith. And they, 
While listening to his voice, 
Grew humble and serene. 


She seemed bewildered— shy- 
Accepted by the village 
As a person of necessity. 
Lodged in some home, reluctantly, 
That little ones might learn. 

How often in the long dark hours of night 
Had she not yearned for motherhood- 
She, loving every other woman's child 
Who answered to the school-belFs daily summons. 



She sees her God 

In snow upon the hills, 

Where His white foot has pressed, 

In meadow grass that rippled softly 

As He passed, 

In candle-rows of distant stars, alight 

In deep, wild spaces of the night. 

She sees her God 

In friends upon the street, 

On whom His face has shone, 

In little ones who romped in playtime 

As He passed, 

In window-light of humble homes above, 

Serene reflection of His love. 

She sees her God 

In daily, menial toil 

Of her own busy life, 

In hours of nightly sick-bed watches 

As He passed, 

In pain— in birth— in love— in death— 

In every reverential breath. 

She sees her God! 



Beneath the quiet cypresses 

A little roadway winds, 

Between long rows of modest flowers 

Of variegated kinds. 

Blue iris mirroring the sky, 
Narcissi— virgin white, 
And all the frail and tender blooms 
That fold their leaves at night. 

A grassy hollow 'round a pool, 
Where darting gold-fish play, 
And pink and purple lilies lie 
Upon its breast all day. 

And there a gentle woman dreams 
Of little ones and love, 
Mid chirp of downy baby chicks 
And low note of a dove. 

Beyond the quiet cypresses 
She never dared to roam, 
Their convent shelter was her life, 
Their loneliness— her home. 



Gardens look th' same to me as when 
I set out th' seeds, so long ago. 
Sorta int'rested in planting then, 
Liked to see th' seedlings sprout an' grow. 
Love th' gardens now, could set fur hours 
Lookin' at th' posies, Spring an* Fall, 
But it's different— not in lack o' flowers— 
Someone else is plantin' em— that's all. 

Houses look th' same to me as when 

I set out to home-keep, back so far. 

Wife an' I had just been married then, 

Proud as heck! You know how sech things are. 

Cabins are some finer now, they say, 

Yes, an' mighty purty, I'll allow, 

But with me it's different here today,— 

'Taint my own home that I live in— now. 

Critters look th' same to me as when 
I was young an' frisky, but you know 
All th' friends an' kin-folk I had then, 
Passed from this here earth long years ago. 
Love to set an' think of all their ways, 
Seems like they must answer when I call, 
Don't feel any older, now-a-days, 
Just a little lonesomer— that's all. 

Life looks just th' same to me as when 
I was part of every bit that came. 
Folks would bring their problems to me then, 
An' would call me by my "given" name. 
Life in all its ways still seems so real! 
Wish th' neighbors cared to come an' call, 
But they don't— an' so I sometimes feel 
I ain't needed anymore— that's all. 


l8o 3 


Framed to the North by the snows 

And the steel-blue cluster of waters, 

Bound on the South by the gulf 

That shattered the shore into bayous, 

Vast grey stretches of rag-weed, 

Of buffalo grass and of thistle, 

Dotted with Indian mounds 

Or scarred with arid arroyas, 

Lay in solemnity vast 

A virile and waiting country, 

Pale in the veils of spring, 

When freshets sang to the lowlands, 

Red from the frost's swift kiss, 

When sumach, aglow on the hillside, 

Set every valley ablaze 

On the funeral pyre of the autumn. 

There, where the prairies sloped 

In fertile soil of the meadows, 

Ran like a living vein, 

The greatest of mighty rivers, 

Cutting its way in scorn 

Through the low green bank that embraced it. 

Pitiful seemed such love 

That clung to the whim of the waters, 

Cringing from raging flood; 

From the force of its lover's fury. 

Yet ever swift to forgive, 

To kiss the ripples in summer, 

Eager to salve the wounds 

Of earth torn apart from the valley, 


Smiling as verdure new 

Covered the scars of the flood-time. 

Few were the scattered towns, 

That nestled along the valley, 

Where beat courageous hearts, 

So bravely allied in trial. 

Indian, bear, or wolf, 

They had met them all in the journey, 

Fever, hunger, and cold 

Had cut through the ranks of their number. 

But in those wild, sweet days, 

When bison roamed on the prairie, 

Dreams were clearer defined 

And bravery mounted to splendor. 

So from the covered wagons, 

Poured men with their women and children, 

Destined to bring new land 

Into proud historical pages. 

South in a crescent bend 
Lay basking a wonder city, 
Owned by the early French 
Who boasted with pride of its beauty. 
Circled with passionate bloom— 
Magnolia, roses and laurel- 
Scented with perfume of rains 
Falling at dawn on the gardens. 
Grey with Spanish moss 
That bearded the giant live-oaks, 
Under whose mighty boughs 
Grim duels of love or of honor 
Were fought in the morning hours 
By the young and fiery planters; 
Fought with rapiers slim, 
According to rules of their homeland. 


Fair were the women of France 
Who had followed their men o'er the ocean; 
Fair were their daughters as well, 
Who had mated here with the Spaniard. 
Dark were the eyes of their sons- 
Men swift in love or in anger— 
Whose Creole blood ran hot 
And proud, on the distant plantations. 
Music, laughter and tears 
Blended in charming confusion 
Deep in the childlike hearts 
That dwelt in the Crescent City, 
While from its lofty height, 
As if protecting its parish, 
Rose, austere and sublime, 
The slim, white towers of St. Louis. 

Meanwhile on distant shores 

Of the mother country in Europe, 

Strutted a little man 

Engrossed in gigantic vision. 

Not until Europe was his, 

Would he cease from his vain, mad dreaminj 

Wars and rumors of war 

Were food and drink to his spirit! 

Into the British hands 

He feared would fall this new province, 

If in the throes of war 

He failed to hold its rich vastness. 

Better by far to sell 

To this new and lusty Republic, 

Growing with rapid stride 

To the very edge of its border. 

'So, in those first fair years 
Of Jefferson's term of office, 


Eighteen hundred and three— 
A brave young span of importance- 
Bonaparte sold the land, 
As Esau traded his birthright; 
Sold for a paltry sum 
The fertile soil of that valley 
That stretched from the gulf's blue shore 
To the rugged arms of the Northland, 
Doubling in area vast 
The land of the young Republic; 
Reaching toward the West, 
Past ranges of bison and sagebrush, 
To gather within its power 
Rich stores to add to the Nation. 

Thus, with a stroke of a pen 

Can opulent miles be bartered; 

Thus, at a flip of coin, 

Can the tongue and habits of nations 

Change over one short night 

On the pages of frontier parchments; 

Change from the Lily of France 

To the wild, free wings of the Eagle! 

"'Louisiana Territory was owned by the French until 1803, when it was 
sold to the United States by Napoleon Bonaparte— then about to war with 
England, and afraid to lose the valuable land. The Territory covered an area 
of 600,000,000 acres, extending from the Mississippi River to the Pxocky 
Mountains. The sale price was $15,000,000. Thomas Jefferson was president, 
and through his far-sightedness, opened up the great Northwest. 




Simple maiden of the forest, 
Wide-eyed from her starward gaze 
Far above the tents of mortals, 
Far above their warrior ways. 

Born of fiery tribal chieftain, 
And his humble dark-eyed squaw, 
On the slopes of wind-swept prairie, 
Knowing only nature's law. 

Up the canyon's trail she wandered, 
Down the mesa's soft descent, 
Breasting winter storm and snow-fall, 
Or in heat of summer spent. 

Reared to battle, blood and bravery, 
Human passions in the raw, 
Like a mother eagle soaring 
With a prize within her claw. 

This was life to Sacagawea, 
O'er the seeming endless space, 
Rock and sagebrush, sand and yucca, 
On the stern earth's desert face. 

Fleet of foot, as was the wild doe, 
'Cross each wild and tortuous way, 
To extend the unknown bound'ries, 
And to wake an unborn day. 

So this maiden of the forest 
Blazed the trail for voyageurs, 
Sang the sagas of the huntsmen, 
Told of traps and priceless fur. 


Led the way her noble forebears 
Marked with bended forest tree, 
Found the paths for white explorers 
That their strange eyes could not see. 

Boundless loyalty and honor 
For the daring ones who came, 
Not to earn their brief devotion 
Nor to win a lasting fame. 

Guide and counsel, friend and woman, 
Wise in trail and travel lore, 
**Sacagawea blazed a pathway, 
Where a man had failed before! 

* Also known as Sacatowa. 
* * Sacagawea acted as guide for the Lewis and Clarke expedition. 


The whooping crane with slender, hungry beak, 
The slim, wild turkey, uttering raucous calls, 
The beaver, damming up the rushing creek 
Before the swift Canadian winter falls, 

The howling in the foothills of the king 
Who leads the wolves in ravaging attack 
Upon the lower valley in the spring, 
To stay the gnawing hunger of his pack. 

The thundering tread of bison on the range, 
The scent of wildflowers, where their hoof-beats press, 
Dark timbered regions, pinnacled and strange, 
And sun-baked prairies of the wilderness. 

Lewis and Clarke— intrepid voyageurs— 
Cutting across the rivers to the sea, 
Carving with sword the roadways of the years, 
Founding with cross a Nation's piety. 




The war with Britain was ended! 
High waved the new-flung flag 
Above a victorious people. 
Glory, honor and praise 
Had deadened all thought of the morrow, 
And in that aftermath, 
The white, fierce patriotism 
Sank from a flame to an ash. 
Politics petty arose— 
Twin brother of pacifism- 
Vessels of war were sold, 
And the venturesome Yankee seamen, 
Paid-ofF in fullest measure, 
Were set adrift in the harbors. 

Swiftly this state became known, 

And black Algerian pirates 

Fell like evil birds 

On the merchant ships of traders, 

Dropped like vultures in air 

To prey on the sturdy seamen. 

Black, unclean and bold, 

With a lust for stolen treasure. 

Often the seas ran red 

With the blood of murdered seamen, 

While in its cool green bowels 

The wrecks of their boats lay buried. 

Many a ransom was paid 

For men imprisoned by pirates, 

Losses of life and wealth 

Added to this new terror, 

While unpreparedness stark 

Swept o'er the helpless nation! 


Soon the wild cry arose 

For vessels— both brig and frigate, 

With sailors to man their guns 

And captains worthy the honor. 

Humiliation and fear 

And the memory of recent disaster, 

Fanned into sudden flame 

A patriotism new-kindled. 

Boats were built over night, 

And soon a gallant new navy, 

Born in the travail of need 

And desperate circumstances, 

Boldly bestrode the seas 

In lusty enthusiasm, 

Ready to mete with speed 

A punishment well deserved. 

Then came those first white Knights 
Renowned in song and in story, 
The Knights of the wind and wave . 
Who took the seas for our glory! 



The vines foam over 

The high, white wall, 

Spilling their bloom of gold, 

And frightened lizards 

Dart in and out 

From crevices green with mold. 

A hot noon sun, 

Like a rampant steed, 

Races across the sky, 

While idlers stretch 

On the warm, brown shore, 

And watch the gulls wing by. 

There is lavishness 

Of a careless wealth 

In the strange and sultry land, 

Where the sea rolls in 

Like a velvet rug 

To cover the sleeping sand. 

The sun sinks deep 

In its crimson couch 

At the edge of the purpled space, 

While the night hangs lanterns 

Of calm, wan stars 

O'er its final resting place. 

The cities are stilled 

And their gates close-barred. 

The banners of night are unfurled, 

And only the perfume 

And romance of dreams 

Remain in that age-old world. 



The decks are swabbed and the sails are set 
For the pirates ride the seas, 
And of all the races of men, there are 
No blacker hearts than these! 

Their hair is as coarse as a stallion's mane 
As it frames each scoundrel's face, 
But the gay red scarves that bind their brows 
Have a wild and certain grace. 

Their backs are broad and their necks are thick, 

Their legs are long and slim, 

They wear a sash tied strong and tight 

To hold their cutlass grim. 

Oh, the smiling seas are wide to all, 
And the skies above are free, 
But the pirate's captain rules the waves 
And a devil a fellow he! 

There are captive crews and a plank to walk, 
Vast treasures rich to stack, 
And the top-most spar displays a flag 
With skull and cross-bones black. 

In the dismal hold of the pirate ship 
There are dungeons bare and deep, 
Where the fetid air and chilling damp 
Soon ends in lasting sleep. 

Yes, the decks are swabbed and the sails are set, 

For the pirates ride the seas, 

And of all the races of men, there are 

No blacker hearts than these! 

Set to music by Alice Brown Stout 


Slipping through dawn's opalescence, 

Came the grim pirate marauders, 

Swashbuckling scum of the seas 

Sent forth by Tripoli's ruler. 

Pirates who batted on vessels 

That plied their trade in that region, 

Carrying tobacco and furs 

To Mediterranian seaports, 

Bringing back spices and silks 

From the lands far across the Atlantic. 

Tariff all out of proportion, 
And tribute to Tripoli's ruler, 
Was by that country levied 
Upon every merchant vessel. 
So, when the trade ships sailed 
Without the money demanded 
Having been paid in full, 
The ravaging pirates descended, 
Meting out punishment swift 
To those who defied the mandate. 

England, Empress of seas, 

Had never conquered this menace, 

Tribute she paid and oft 

To Africa's dominant ruler, 

Taxing the poor and the rich, 

While industry crumbled to ruin. 

Full grew the coffers with gold 

Of Tripoli's court and attendants; 

Sleek and pampered and soft 

Were the wives in their sheltered harems. 

While in the countries of earth, 
The people awaited deliverance! 



Out on the seas they rode, 

In their white-winged sailing vessels, 

Out on the ocean's swell 

Mid the storms of the old Atlantic. 

Carrying precious freight 

To countries beyond the water, 

Boldly they raced the waves 

That churned into spume behind them. 

Watchful they were the while, 

For Barbary ships on their sta'board, 

Watchful and armed with guns 

To establish their right on the ocean, 

Backed by their country's word— 

An ultimatum defiant— 

"Millions for defense, 

But not one cent for tribute!" 

Battles and sunken ships, 
Shells lighting up dark waters, 
Fighting and wounds and death, 
But finally victory triumphant! 
England and France and Spain 
Watched in silent amazement, 
Seeing this strong new Country 
Clearing the seas of its menace! 

Flying their gay young flag . . . 
Laughing in bold brave glee . . . 
They won the freedom of seas for men, 
And the freedom of men for the seas! 




What were the causes of war 

That, after a peaceful interim 

Following the Revolution, 

Should once more draw us in conflict? 

Was not the country at peace 

And growing in strength and abundance? 

Had not the pages been closed 

To the history of our beginning? 

Had not inventions flourished 
And made us the envy of nations? 
*Had not the first steam vessel 
Passed down the Hudson River? 
**Was not the Cotton Gin 

Giving the South great markets? 

Had not a Proclamation 

Been read for our first Thanksgiving? 

What then disturbed our peace 
And prevented our growing still greater, 
Stretching young arms to the north 
And west, thus embracing their splendor? 
What called our men from their shops- 
Trie farmers from plowing and reaping? 
What gave new graves to our hills 
And tears to the eyes of our women? 

England in conflict with France 

And needing more men for her warships, 

Fell on American vessels 

And claimed their right to the seizure, 

Searching our boats for men 


They claimed were Britain's own seamen, 

Even firing on frigates 

When in need of great reinforcement. 

This taking of Yankee sailors 

For manning of British vessels, 

Cut off all friendly connection, 

And ruined our commerce by water. 

Broke diplomatic relations 

In Madison's administration, 

And started a two-year conflict, 

That some called a "Second Revolution!" 

"'Robert Fulton launched his newly invented steamboat, August n, 1807. 
It was called the Clermont. This opened trade through the Great Lakes, and 
the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. 

**The Coitcn Gin was invented in 1793. 



A gentleman of graciousness 
And rugged strength. 
Blessed with a goodly mother 
And a famous wife. 
Who not only drafted 
The main features 
Of the Constitution, 
But offered the first ten 

British soldiery . . . 
And Indian tribes . . 

Gentlemen . . . 
. . .The President! 



"I thought the war my father served was all, — 
That scent of pines had smothered musket smoke, 
And snows had softly veiled old battle-fields !" 
(Quite simply thus, the farmer-soldier spoke.) 

"But no, I hear new summoning this Spring, 
With all the crocuses and columbine, 
With waking violets that seek the sun 
And clinging fingers of each growing vine." 

"And so my soul is rising with the May, 
From out a winter's long and idle sleep, 
To blossom now, in holding banners high; 
To pledge, that I my Land's requirements keep." 

"Why should I doubt, when every leaf and bud 
Forgets the night and quickens to the morn? 
When all about me, echoing through the dark, 
The call to Country's urgent need is born?" 

"Why should I fear, that this new untried year 
May in its storms fresh scars of battles bring? 
I push aside the winter snows and find . . . 
My soul is coming up again this Spring!" 


Whence had they come— these soldiers, 
Led to the shambles of battle? 
What fair maids had they married 
And what fine sons were they siring? 
Had they a lineage long 
Of valiant and honored forebears? 


Came they from industry's group 

Or were they the product of farmland? 

Southlands were too remote, 

Too lush in their somnolent beauty, 

Far from Canadian lines 

And the clear, cold lakes of the valleys. 

From what new States had they answered 

This call of a Country in travail? 

Was it from East or North, 

Or the untamed wilds of the prairies? 

Rugged New England had stood 

Like the granite land that she fostered, 

Caring not to adventure 

Beyond her sturdiest borders. 

Surly she was, betimes, 

With her British trade imperiled. 

Sternly withdrew to her hills 

And buckled them in about her. 

'Twas then from prairies they came, 

To join with their Eastern brothers, 

Down from the frozen snows 

Of the North, and the turbulent rivers, 

Out from Kentucky hills 

And the Northwest country above her, 

Up from old Tennessee 

And her fertile valleys and farmlands. 

Soldiers of motley appearance— 
Oft-times grotesque and alarming, 
Booted with home-sewed hides, 
And smelling of fresh-tanned leather. 
Capped with the skins of squirrel 
And carrying powder and musket. 


Bronzed young gods of the forest 
Or grey-beards filled with new ardor. 

Poorly equipped they were 

And poorly drilled in maneuver, 

Low in morale as well 

Since the war of the revolution. 

Knowing how ill prepared 

Their Country was for this warfare, 

Yet with a hope that these sudden 

Hostilities would not be lasting. 

Hardly had graves grown green 
Since the Nation acquired its freedom, 
Scarcely had laws been made 
With the eyes of the world upon her, 
Hardly had farms been plowed 
Or towns arisen from campfires, 
When this new summons had come 
And Americas men responded. 

And in the spirit of youth, 

With trust in this growing Country, 

Proudly they marched away 

To whatever fate was awaiting. 

Leaving their pioneer homes, 

Their frightened women and children, 

Lifting with pride their hearts 

To the clarion call of their nation! 



Never stepping past the door-sill 

Of a safe and sheltered dwelling, 

Never piloting a vessel 

Where the tempest waves are swelling, 

Never looking to a harvest 

That would mean a weary sow r ing, 

Never planting seed or sapling 

With a vision of its growing. 

Never building tower or temple 
With your body strained and tiring, 
Never standing by the colors 
Under war's incessant firing, 
Never laughing at the sunrise 
For the very joy of living, 
Never loving with that passion 
That must lose in every giving. 

Like a fountain, that in playing 
Cannot from itself be parted, 
Or a lane, that in its winding, 
Soon returns to where it started! 


From birth a cripple . . . 
When the challenge rang, 
He shrank away in shame 
To see battalions 
Bravely gay, 

March off to fife and drum 
Across the green 
Of village square, 
And leave him . . . 


Patriot as well . . . 

Alone and trembling there. 

Oh, bruised and broken thing 
Of circumstance! 
When left behind, 
Remember, there may soon 
Be tears to wipe 
And wounds to bind. 

Not all the shepherds 
Fared to Bethlehem 
That Noel night. 
Someone remained to tend 
The startled flocks 
Till morning light! 


So many passing dreams they strove to keep, 
Of simple home and quiet evening hour, 
Of lifted blossoms in a sudden shower, 
And tended flocks of cattle and of sheep. 

So many humble dreams they tried to hold, 
Of warm plowed earth in fragrant even rows, 
Of rustic wells, where clear cool water flows, 
And harvesting the grain of molten gold. 

So many dreams relinquished and renounced, 
When step succeeded step in weary march, 
Though arms might ache and thirsty lips might parch, 
That tyranny be finally denounced. 

But at the end the finished fabric gleams, 
The ravelled texture is again as new, 
From mountain's green to ocean's sweeping blue. 
For dreamers die . . . but not their living dreams! 



"The Men of the Northwest Were Like 
Mighty Rivers." 

They had watched the streams of mountains 

And the rivers of the plains, 

They had heard the calling . . . calling . . . 

Of the cloud mists and the rains, 

Twas the urge of all the waters, 

Waters rushing, fiercely free, 

When obeying primal yearning, 

Turn their faces to the sea. 

They had read in every fountain, 
Every rivulet and rill, 
Mirrored clearly, each emotion 
That a human heart might fill. 
Human striving, seeking, gaining, 
Human loves and human sins; 
All to leave their gallant straggle 
Where the ocean's rim begins. 

They had recognized the idler 
In the shallow limpid stream, 
And had scorned a pool reflecting 
Someone else's vivid dream. 
They had sensed the faint ambition 
Of each brook, however small. 
And the wild adventurous daring 
In the plunging water-fall. 

But the spirit of a river 
Stamped upon the human face, 
Seemed to them the best of living 
And the mettle of their race. 
Never fearful of the rapids 


Or the rocks at hidden bend, 
Rushing on with daring courage 
To the Great Adventure's end. 

So their lives became a river, 

Not a quiet shallow pool, 

For they'd rather risk a floodtide, 

Than to seek a shelter cool. 

They would rather grow so strong— so deep— 

A rushing power to be, 

That souls like theirs could bear great ships 

When they had reached the sea! 

"iron men in wooden ships" 

They washed their clothes 

And swabbed the decks 

And cursed and laughed and sang, 

While skins grew rough 

And eyes turned red 

From the ocean's salty tang. 

They spliced the rope 

With calloused hands 

And hoisted heavy sails, 

As the wooden vessels 

Rocked the seas 

And fought through wintry gales. 

They knew the wharves 

Of distant ports, 

Where foreign flags unfurled, 

They were weak in learning 

Of pen and book, 

But schooled in the ways of the world. 


At night black waves 

Rushed over the decks, 

As the angry tempest roared, 

But snugly safe 

In rVcastle hold, 

Were silks and spices stored. 

Their women at home 

Sat facing the sea, 

As they spun and watched and rocked, 

While wind in the chimney 

Sobbed its woe, 

And the crash of the high waves mocked. 

And sons were born 

While they sailed the seas, 

And were reared to follow the main, 

For many a man 

Who had sired a babe, 

Ne'er saw his harbor again. 

And many a grave 

On the little hill, 

Was of mortal body free, 

Though a brave white stone 

Proclaimed the words— 

"John Mariner— Lost at sea." 

And many a cave 

In fathomless depth, 

Was a bed and a restful sleep, 

For the man who sank 

At his vessel's prow 

To the sepulcher of the deep. 


But many returned 

To their port of home, 

And found their children grown, 

And themselves a sage 

To the village folk 

And an oracle all their own. 

And some lived on 
To "ripe old age- 
Filled full of memories store, 
Though their legs were weak 
And their eyes were dim, 
And they sailed the seas no more. 

So, it's Hey and Ho 

For the sailing heart, 

A colorful life at best! 

With the days well spent 

On the wide, high seas, 

And a long sweet night of rest. 


Only a few brief years 

Since the Revolution was ended, 

Yet all was chaos once more, 

And the British seemingly victors. 

Tragic those battles on land 

For the scattered, bewildered Yankees. 

Quite unprepared to fight 

And defend their garrison strongholds. 

But on the sea's wide sweep, 

They rose supreme to each conflict 

Winning with laurels fresh, 

From the royal fleet of the British. 



Among the vessels of war, 
Was the frigate Constitution, 
Launched in the harbor of Boston 
On a bright October morning, 
In the year of our gracious Lord 
Seventeen-ninety-seven . . . 
Destined for lasting fame 
After its famous battles. 
Brave were the long-lined guns 
Raised high over turbulent waters, 
Heavy with powder and flame 
And echoing to the heavens. 
Proud were her seamen as well, 
Who manned this newest of vessels. 

On August of Eighteen-twelve 

The Frigate put out from Boston, 

Commanded by Isaac Hull, 

Already a naval hero. 

Five long arduous years 

Was he master in charge of the vessel, 

Never a sign of defeat 

Had blackened his captain's record. 

Thus, before orders had come 

To hold the ship in the harbor, 

Hull sailed out of the blockade 

Toward the enemy waiting, 

Eager to prove the strength 

And power of his gallant frigate. 

Into the sunless seas 
With a wind that blew its defiance, 
Sailed the venturesome frigate, 
With her look-out scanning horizons. 
Soon, on the sullen expanse, 


A sail arose into vision. 

It was the British Guerriere 

Commanded by Captain Dacres. 

Slowly the warring vessels 

Cautiously drew together. 

Boasted the British crew 

Of their swift, sure victory nearing; 

Boasted, and rightly too, 

For they manned the finest of frigates. 

Soon on the waiting air, 

They opened fire from a bow gun, 

Falling short of its target 

—The confident Constitution. 

Then came a second round 

From the guns of the British vessel, 

And slowly the Yankee boat 

Jockied for better position. 

Deep came the boom of guns, 

A broadside firing, that riddled 

The hull of the British boat 

And shattered one mast asunder. 

'There!"— shouted Captain Hull, 

"We have made a brig of the vessel!" 

Then with a swing to port, 
Another broadside was given, 
Cross the enemy's bow 
And the mainyard crashed disabled. 
Thrice spoke the Yankee guns, 
While feebly the Guerriere responded, 
Brave to her last weak shot 
That fell far short of its target. 
Stunned and bewildered, she tried 
To deny the defeat she encountered, 
Till helpless and drifting she rode, 


A ghost of her former defiance. 
Batered and beaten and wrecked . . . 
The frigate finally surrendered! 

After the crew was transferred 
To the hold of the Constitution, 
Safe as to life and limb 
But conquered at last, and imprisoned, 
The victor returned to her harbor, 
While crew and gallant commander 
Shared in the wild ovation 
That welcomed her safe returning. 
*There, in the Boston port, 
She lay— ' a victor victorious!" 
Destined to be preserved 
For posterity of a nation! 
Destined to always be called . . . 
Affectionately . . ."Old Ironsides!" 

*Capt. Hull brought his prisoners to Boston, where he and his men were 
feasted in Faneuil Hall. Congress voted him a gold medal for the victory, and 
gave his men $50,000 in prize money. 


Home from the battleships, 
From the scourge of war and death, 
To a cabin, gently welcoming, 
And a garden's perfumed breath. 

Home from the roar of guns, 
From the torn and smoke-stained sails, 
To a chair by the door and a cheery pipe, 
And stars when the sunset pales. 

Home to a waiting heart, 
With a promise of calm and rest, 
A smile above the candlelight 
On the face you love the best! 



A fleet of wooden vessels 
On a lake of azure blue, 
With polka-dotted islands 
In a green and gold tattoo. 

A fleet of nine brave frigates 
From native timber built, 
Abreast Sandusky's shoreline 
In sweeping beauty spilt. 

The timber green is vigorous, 
The sails are white and fair, 
And Perry— Commodore and chief- 
Beholds it— waiting there! 

*And like another little fleet, 
In far-off glorious day, 
He knows the gallant wooden ships 
Will go— their famous way! 

* Captain John Paul Jones, who entered the American service in 1775, was 
the first man to hoist the American flag over American warship. He fitted out 
three or four vessels— with the help of Benj. Franklin— with great difficulty and 
patience (one was a half-rotten old hulk), and with his little fleet, attacked and 
captured two British man-of-war vessels, in the North Sea off Flamhorough 


Passing the long, slow months 
To September eighteen-thirteen. 

From the wild and stormy Atlantic 
To placid inland waters. 



SEPTEMBER 10, I 8 I 3 

Eager to break the power 

Of the British upon Lake Erie, 

Eager to win control 

Of the Fort on Detroit River, 

Commodore Perry advanced 

With his fleet of a few small vessels, 

Which he had built and launched 

Near the grape-lined shores of Sandusky. 

Long was the battle, and fierce 

The firing across the waters, 

Cutting the air with flame 

And resounding among the islands. 

Dying, the men soon lay 

On the blood soaked decks of the vessels, 

Dying with brave last words 

Of encouragement and believing. 

On the "Chesapeake/' Commander Lawrence 

Lay, in his life's last moments, 

Broken, bleeding and weak 

From the many wounds he had suffered. 

Whispering faintly in death 

To his friend and gallant commander— 

"Don't give up the ship!"— 

And slipped away into silence. 

But, as Barclay advanced, 

And the doom of Americans hovered, 

Perry— with eyes aflame 

From smoke and the fumes of powder, 

Took those immortal words 

For his desperate war-cry of battle, 


Urging his faithful men 

To fight for their Country's glory! 

Then, sensing sure defeat, 

He called to his frightened brother, 

(Who, though a child of twelve, 

Had stayed through the siege of battle) 

And taking a smaller boat 

For the few of his men remaining, 

Boldly ordered the crew 

To pull for the frigate "Niagara." 

All through that perilous stretch- 
When their oars were shot into pieces, 
And caps torn away by the bullets 
Fired by pursuing British — 
The men stood by Captain Perry 
And rode to the side of "Niagara" 
Taking their stand on that ship 
That finally made them the victors. 

Hoisting dead Lawrence's words 
On a flag of hurried assembling, 
The desperate men fought on, 
Like tigers at bay in a jungle. 
Fought, till the British ships 
Were shot to bits by the firing; 
Fought, till Barclay's fleet 
Was annihilated completely! 

Then, on an envelop's back, 
Perry wrote briefly this message- 
To General Harrison's camp, 
The dispatch that echoed his victory— 

"We have met the enemy— and 

They are ours!" he boasted in triumph. 

"The British abandoned Detroit, 
Which gives us control of Lake Erie!" 


(from an old "salt's" tale) 

On the ship Saratoga 'twas said, m'lads, 
That the crew owned a mascot pet, 
A bit of a gamecock, strutting around, 
With a voice like a castinet. 

In the heat of the Plattsburg fray, m'lads, 
When the spirits of all were low, 
That bird flew up on the nearest gun, 
And started right in to crow! 

He flapped his wings with th'best m'lads, 
And stuck up his saucy comb, 
Defiance rang in each shrilling sound, 
Like a banshee far from home. 

No louder, trumpeting note, m'lads, 
E'er called brave men to their task, 
They yipped and yelled with an ardor new, 
What more could a Captain ask? 

For the crow of a gaming-cock, m'lads, 
Will urge every seaman's son 
To fight with the skill of th'devil himself, 
Till the hardest battle is won! 



In old Vergennes ... in old Vermont, 
The winter winds were blowing, 
With bitter chill that tore at flesh 
And fanned the red blood glowing. 

Brave men ... a handful at the best . . . 
Toiled far from troops or stockade, 
To build a fleet of wooden ships 
To meet the British blockade. 

The winter snows piled high and white, 
And ice choked stream and valley, 
But through long days they cut the logs 
For hull and deck and galley. 

The frugal meals; the long black nights, 
And blood on frozen fingers. 
In such undaunted iron men . . . 
The soul of Viking lingers. 

At last the wooden fleet was launched, 
Its future fame unknowing, 
In old Vergennes ... in old Vermont, 
While winter winds were blowing! 

* Commodore McDonongh took a handful of men and went down to Old 
Vergennes in Vermont and worked all winter to build a little fleet of wooden 
ships, with which he won the hattle of Plattshurg. 



Lake Champlain, near the harbor 
Of the little village of Plattsburg, 
Rippled in Autumn's gold 
That showered from the ash and maple. 
Peace was abroad on the shores, 
The peace of farmland and meadow, 
But on the Lake's broad breast 
Rode vessels of wrath and battle. 

Far to the North, the Eagle, 

Commanded by Robert Henly, 

Proudly bore her crew 

Of able though youthful seamen. 

Next came the Saratoga 

New-built by Thomas Macdonough, 

And third, under Lieutenant Cassin, 

The re-built Ticonderoga. 

Flanking these vessels of war, 

Came a squadron of smaller gunboats, 

Manned by America's best 

And bravest of able seamen. 

Down from the wind-swept North 

Came the British enemy's squadron, 

Equally manned by men 

Who were known for their dauntless courage. 

Down from Sorel on Saint Lawrence, 

And up the Richelieu River, 

Till through the autumn haze 

It espied the awaiting vessels. 

Brave were those British boats, 
The Linnet and the Confiance, 
Brave with superior fire 
On the Eagle and Saratoga. 


But, though the guns belched forth 
Their lead, red-hot and imbedded 
In timber of Yankee vessels, 
They made little headway by it. 

Swinging in narrow confines, 

The valiant and slim Saratoga, 

Brought fresh guns to bear 

On the enemy's frigate Confiance. 

Red grew the skies above 

In the sudden fall of the evening, 

Frightened, the stars crept out 

To view with wonder the pageant! 

This was the turn of the tide; 
The turn of decisive battle. 
Over in two swift hours, 
With the British in full surrender. 
Some of their gunboats fled, 
While others sank in the fleeing, 
Battered and ripped to shreds 
With seamen dead or imprisoned! 

Thus drew to close the event on Lake Champlain in that fall, 
That historians call with pride— "The decisive battle of all!" 


Out of the West . . . 

The stubble of earth clods, 

The odor of meat in the smoke-house, 

The coarseness of rough garments 

Against a woman's satin flesh. 

Out of pain, tears, weariness, 

Her courage rose and smiled 

Like a small sure banner 

Streaming in the wind. 



You did not let me wed him— no! 
You called him "common sailor"! 

And what was I? Niece of the Governor 

Of Virginia— a "first family" of 

That noble State. A maid of culture, 

Education and gentility. 

Was I not woman first? 

Had I not nightly dreamed 

Of my brave sailor lover? 

Was I not fashioned for his arms? 

To work, to love, to suffer, 

And to bear his sons? 

You did not let me wed him— no! 

And yet, this "common sailor" 

Saved the seas from tyranny, 

Met pirates of the Spanish main 

And crushed them; enemies, and took them 

Prisoners of war; left in his wake 

A newborn era on the seas! 

While I— in quiet grave- 
Now look across the Chesapeake 
Toward Annapolis, 
And see the temple 
That confines his bones 
In glory everlasting! 

You did not let me wed him— 
John Paul Jones— 
You called him "common sailor" 
At that time! 



Her little bridal trunk 
Had a rounded top, 
And could be carried 
On horseback. 
Her little comb 
Was wide and high, 
Like a Spanish senora's. 
Her heart was gay 
And life looked roseate, 
For she was the bride 
Of Captain Heald 
Of Fort Dearborn. 

She lived, somehow, 

Through the massacre . . . 

But she saw friends slain, 

And scalps torn away 

From dying heads, 

Saw the golden sand 

Turn black from smoke and blood. 

Saw all the horror 

Of a desperate tragedy. 

Later, she found her little comb 
In St. Louis. And with tears, 
Bought it back, to put away 
In her little bridal trunk. 



Generals Brown, Ripley, 
And Winfield Scott- 
Gained the battle 
Of Chippewa 
In Canada. 

On the land between 
The Lakes. A strip 
Of sleepy verdant beauty 
In the heat of summertime, 
Far from the cities of men, 
But near to the eternal 
Rushing waters 
Of Niagara! 

* July 5, 1814. Twenty days later the battle of Lundy Lane was fought. 
The gain at Chippewa, encouraged these Generals to greater fields of battle. 

And in the space 
Of one brief month, 
Commodore Chauncey 
Compelled England 
To evacuate Fort George 
On the Niagara. 

Today, sweet grapes 
And buckwheat honey 
Perfume the air, 
Where once blood carmined 
The tender wooded slopes 
Of little hills. 



A small swift army 

Striking with courage . . . 

As a child hits out in the dark . . . 

Attacked the strongholds 

Of Queenstown. 

But was repulsed by General Brock. 

From the Michigan Territory 
To the Maumee river, 
The enemy was in possession 
Of all Western Forts. 


The bloodiest battle fought! 

The fiercest fray 

That warring men had waged 

In this new conflict. 

With heavy losses . . . 

Men upon the field 

Maimed or dead, 

Their cold white faces 

Staring at the night. 

And from this chaos . . . 
Burned homes, felled trees, 
And ravished fields, 
Came forth no great advantage, 
Save that the British were driven 
From the field, near the falls 
Of Niagara. 

]uly, 1814 



The waves sobbed softly . . . 

That so much beauty 

Of the night, 

Was marred by hoarse commands, 

By tramp of rough-shod feet, 

By dirt and blood 

And suffering. 

The moon shone sadly down 

Upon the boats 

Drawn up upon the shore, 

Filled with the British, 

Who, in darkness, 

Landed on the isle 

And took possession! 

Mackinac Island 


An expedition bravely sent 
Beyond St. Lawrence, 
But which failed, 
When strongholds 
Of a mighty city . . . 
Refused to fall 
To the Americans. 

And at the close of the year, 

A year of chaos . . . 

Of pain ... of many new-turned graves, 

Of stricken homes and hearts, 

Ontario . . . Queen of Lakes . . . 

Still lay in British hands! 



Invasion of New York attempted 
From Canadian side. A burst of fury 
Fires that died . . . and failure! 
So little time had passed 
Since England and the Five Nations, 
Carried on their bitter warfare 
Within these same sweet bounds 
Of territory. 


Attacked by night . . . 
Silently ... as an eagle 
Swings down upon its prey. 
A sudden swift descent . . . 
A battle over . . . 
With a Governor's house 
In ashes! 

And because of this . . . 
At some later date, 
A Capitol was burned! 

Toronto, 191; 



From the blue grass 

And gentle verdure 

Of Kentucky, 

General William Henry Harrison 

Led an army northward, 

With the hope of recapturing 


(Blind men . . . 
Who fail to see 
That wars are won 
With great numbers 
And preparedness, 
Rather than 
With dreams.) 

** Later, Harrison 
Defeated Proctor, 
Forcing him across the river 
The English 
Lost their entire army, 
With only fifteen American dead. 

It was the day 

Of little armies and little losses, 

But never little faith 

Or patriotism! 

Thus did Upper Canada 
Fall into American control 
At this point! 

September, 1814 



JULY, l8l2 

The river was low in the summer 

And green with rushes and moss, 

Where the British Commander had ventured 

To marshal his forces across. 

The boats were crowded and stifling 
With the heat of a brazen July, 
But the men were eager for fighting, 
And if need be— willing to die. 

There were Indians mixed with the English 
An amalgam of red with the white, 
For the savage had joined with the stranger 
In thwarting the American's flight. 

The Fort at the head of Lake Huron, 
Where a few men had gravely withstood 
The battering shell of the British, 
Was a shield to the ill-fated brood. 

They were few— pathetically helpless— 
And far to the north from relief, 
They knew that the English outnumbered 
And the stand at the Fort would be brief. 

But they fought till the dusk of the evening, 
When the British their death-blows dealt, 
And the Indians— drunk with the orgy- 
Swung fresh human scalps at each belt. 

They fought till the north skies darkened, 
And the moon rode past on a cloud, 
Till the blood turned black in the stockade 
And the grey fog dropped in a shroud. 



The grey walls met the blue rim of the sea 
And staunchly waited as the high tide rose, 
Shouldering each dull blow tauntingly 
Contemptuous of the ocean's fierce enclose. 

Low-browed and turreted; a sullen pile, 
Where pits of darkened silence seemed to gloat, 
Deep in the bowels of the noisesome earth, 
Upon each prisoner that crossed the moat. 

Tunnels that deadened every cry of pain 
From tortured bodies, left to shrink and rot 
Within the cold, thick walls where they had lain 
Entombed, unshriven; human polyglot. 


From far below, amid a swirl of spray, 
The great, grey monsters of the turbid deep 
Awaited each new victim tossed away 
Before it reached death's kind releasing sleep. 

In this hell of black and living death, 
^They flung the Seminole: that savage band 
That roamed the Everglades; that first drew breath 
Mid cypress swamp of green mysterious land. 

They wailed low chants of captive pain and hate, 
They tore their hands against the gaols strong bars, 
They watched with stoic eyes the dawn illuminate 
And looked at night upon the pale, cold stars. 

Clinging to iron that barred the narrow hole, 
From whence they caught a glimpse of shrieking gull 
Or sailing vessel, like a banished soul, 
That flees with evil secrets in its hull. 


They starved their earth-stained bodies till they shrank 
To skeletons, that could be crushed and made 
To slip between the bars. So weakened, lank, 
They crawled to freedom in the Everglade! 

Green with new rushes, river-mold and slime. 
Ghostly the cypress; cool and soft the ground. 
Such men can never live by tide or time . . . 
Such men seek death if once their souls are bound! 

* Florida was the Headquarters of the British forces in 1812-1814. The first 
Seminole War was fought in 18 17- 18. 

**Tke last War of the Seminole occurred long after the War of 18 12. This 
tribe of Indians is the only one never conquered hy the United States. A treaty 
was formed, as if between two sovereign powers. 


The Creeks were cruel, 
The Creeks were wise, 
Their camp-fire smoke 
Rose thin to the skies. 
Their tom-toms beat 
To the night wind's wail, 
As they sang of blood 
On the tomahawk's trail. 

The Creeks were ugly 
Of form and face, 
They knew no honor 
And had no grace, 
They danced till dawn, 
As an Indian can, 
And plotted the death 
Of the pale-faced man. 



In the Southeast Territory, 

The Georgia pines and the live-oaks, 

(Hung with Spanish moss 

Like veils on a solemn duenna) 

Stood in a stately row 

Near the town of Mobile on the bayou, 

Stood, as if guarding the homes 

Of the gentlefolk living beneath them. 

Sweet as the breath of spring 

Was the scent of the waxen magnolias, 

Holding their fragrance at day 

To spill it forth in the evening. 

Peace descended with dusk 

Over grey Fort Mimms by the river, 

Setting aside all alarm 

That had recently fallen upon it. 

But short was this respite of calm, 

For the Creeks had gathered in council. 

Signals of fire and smoke 

\\ ere seen on surrounding hillsides, 

\\ hile in the distance was heard 

Their war-cry, rising in cadence, 

Shrill and freighted with hate 

For this new white race in the valley. 

Over the Territory— 

(Alabama and Mississippi) 

They had massed their Indian warriors, 

To descend on the white man's fortress. 

Unprepared were the soldiers 

Against the hordes of the savage. 

Unprepared but courageous 

In the face of possible slaughter. 


Down from the hills they came, 
Up from the swamp and bayous 
Red-gold naked bodies, 
Painted for furious battle . . . 
When in the sunset glow, 
The rush of massacre over, 
Five hundred men lay dead- 
Together with women and children! 

Near Mobile on the Alabama River 



A coat of silver 

From a magic brush, 

And lo! Each field and camp 

And humble soldier tent, 

Had in some swift mysterious way 

Become a fairy place 

Of loveliness. 

Oh, could this human thing 

Called man, 

Be, in like manner, glorified! 

But all were flesh 

And moonpaint could not touch them! 


MARCH 27, 1814 

Marching toward the distant south 

Came men of flame and steel, 

With one strong purpose within their hearts 

That none but avengers could feel. 

And far at the head of the angry band, 

Rode one who was eager for strife, 

Who had never done anything yet by halves 

In his long and stormy life. 

They marched to the urge of a swift revenge 

And to Andrew Jackson's call. 

To the words of a worthy leader of men 

Who was braver by far than all! 

At the swift Alabama River's bank, 

By the waters of Horseshoe Bend, 

They met the Creeks with a savage rush, 

That could mean but a winning end. 

The Battle of Tohopeha was fought, 

As never was fight before, 

With bodies of men in the water's swirl 

And more on the marshy shore. 

With Indians fleeing the new strange death 

That blazed from the pale-faced ranks. 

Leaving their tomahawks rusting red 

And their dead on the river banks. 

It takes a red death, swift and fierce, 
To destroy a tribal power, 

And the Creeks surrendered their right of lands 
To the victors in that dark hour. 
Surrendered the Southern verdant sweep, 
From Georgia to Mobile Bay, 
Of the Territory's greater part- 
To the flag of the U. S. A. 



They did not fear 

The bleak and tardy Spring. 

They looked with courage 

Out upon their country-side 

In early March, 

When winter snows had gone, 

And ice that manacled the brook 

Had melted silendy 

Beneath a wan, brief sun. 

They did not glance above at trees 

Whose branches still were bare, 

For soon, they knew fresh sap would run 

And life begin. 

They did not sigh for birds 

That still in southlands sung, 

Nor longed for gardens vivid bloom. 

They only pressed aside 

Grey matted grass 

And sought blue violets out, 

And pale anemone, 

And those soft mosses, where 

A fern would someday grow. 

They did not quite despair 

Because the rush of warmth and life 

Did not come swiftly back. 

They cherished only what earth had 

To give . . . that day. 

Knowing all vibrant, growing things 

Come slowly . . . 

Spring . . . and flowers . . . and love! 




Swift . . . swift . . . swift on the wave, 
Paddle the Voyageurs, eagerly brave, 
Paddle to chanting, and echoed by trees 
Rustling their branches above on the breeze. 
Through the lush valley . . . swiftly they go . . . 
Couriers du bois en "petit bateau! 

Light . . . light . . . light on the stream, 

Glides the canoe that is swift as a dream. 

A dream that in waking lives on with the morn, 

Pioneer cities . . . yet to be born. 

Couriers of courage . . . sing as you go . . . 

Onward . . . still onward . . . petit bateau! 

Brave . . . brave . . . brave were the few 

Facing the perils of wilderness new. 

Brave were La Salle and the dauntless Marquette, 

Cherish their memories . . . lest we forget. 

Hark to their voices ... so long ago . . . 

Allons! Allonsl Mon petit bateau! 



Red Deer rides East . . . 
Rain in the air, 
Bending the branches 
Leafless and bare. 

Red Deer rides South . . . 
Brazen the sky, 
Ripening the cornfields 
Golden and high. 


Red Deer rides West . . . 
Frost on the ground, 
Crimson leaves falling, 
Geese outward bound. 

Red Deer rides North . . . 
Snow-blankets spread, 
Lonely the councils, 
Camp-fires are dead! 


Oh, hardy, brave attempt 

To crush a Lion 

And a savage . . . jointly. 

Boasting of courage only 

And undying loyalty, 

Not of a safe, sane number. 

Letting death enter 

Into valiant ranks 

Without retreat . 

Following a leader 

Destined to become 

At later date ... a hero. 

Falling beside the road, 

Bleeding and broken, 

Dying like a trapped wild thing. 

Dust returning to the dust 

Of fallow prairies. 

Forgotten by men, 
Yet in some manner 
Of reckoning, 
Remembered by the angels! 

*ln September, 1814, an American army led by Zachary Taylor, who later 
became a Mexican War hero and President, v:as defeated by the British and 
Indians in the battle of Credit Island. 



She loved the color red! 

The shade of leaping flame 

That burns to gold; 

A flame that subtly sucks 

Its own impassioned air 

Unto itself. 

She loved the warm, bright alow 

Of cardinal breast in spring; 

Of sunset sky ablaze; 

Of ever) 7 drop of blood 

Within her beating heart. 

And yet . . . 

She were 1 a dress of homespun, 
Durable and grew 
For drab and endless tasks. 
Her one best gown 
Of heavy, proper silk- 
Brow n as a withered autumn leaf- 
Was laid av. 
For her to don 

On Molidays, or lor another's 
Marriage feast. 

And at the last . . . 

She wore it for her shroud, 

With pale, sweet smile, 

Demure and gently proud. 

A fitting close 

To her dull life on earth. 

She loved the color red! 



Across the prairie wastes they trekked 

Creating a living thread 

That someday would be railroad, steamboat, motor 

Such evolution is of greater worth 
Than merely chains of gold. 
They are the invisible links of 
Eternal Progress! 


Mud deeply carpeting 

The autumn-tinted lane. 

Rich, umber mud, 

With little ruts, wherein 

The cart-wheels slide. 

Mud oozing 'neath the toes 

Of barefoot boys. 

Mud on the wings and combs 

Of barnyard fowl. 

Mud on high boots 

Or clinging to the hems 

Of women's petticoats. 

But with the sun— 

It turns to fine grey dust, 

Silvery and soft, 

As discord turns to laughter. 




Red-brown pillar of strength, 
Iron muscle and brawn, 
Sandal footed and swift as a deer 
When startled at early dawn. 

Born in the cruel snows, 
Killing his own red meat, 
Earning by might and war and death 
His place in the Council's seat. 

Red-blooded man of the plains, 
Wise in the craft of the wood, 
Hair as straight as an arrow's flight 
And black as a hangman's hood. 


As in another drama 
Of heroic past, 
When valiant soldier- 
George Rogers Clark- 
Won startling victory 
At Old Vincennes, 
So on the prairies 
Now, this page of history 

A people who have never 
Known defeat! 



Out on the Western frontier, 

(From Georgia to Fort Dearborn) 

The Indians of the plains 

Had formed a mighty Confederacy. 

Formed it against the whites 

Who were settling in that district, 

Against the usurpers of land 

That the Indians claimed they had rights to. 

Tecumseh, the Shawnee Chief, 

Was the head of the band of redskins, 

This savage Confederation 

That warred on American settlers. 

His was the soul of the movement, 

The brains of the undertaking, 

Which was a plot to drive 

Out the white men living among them. 

But, as the savages swarmed 
To the Tippecanoe's deep waters, 
^General Harrison met them 
On the prairies of West Indiana, 
Fought them in that chill November 
And defeated them in the battle. 
A battle which strewed the plains 
With the pick of Tecumseh's warriors. 

Tecumseh did not appear 
To fight in this losing battle, 
There on the Tippecanoe 
In the chill raw winds of autumn, 
But at a later day— 
In warfare led by the British, 
*He fought with furious strength 
In attack on American soldiers. 


Thus confirming beliefs 
That England had instigated 
Most of the Indian wars 
And massacres by the savage. 

* William Henry Harrison, Governor, Territory of Indiana from 1801 to 

* * T ecumseth lost his life in this battle. 


They sang to the music of tall green corn 

That rustled in prairie breeze, 

Neath a sky so low and heavy with blue 

That it seemed to kiss the trees. 

They rowed on the river that cut their fields 

And strolled down the winding lanes, 

With never a fear of that wild, free life 

On the wide and lonely plains. 

The bugle shrilled on the summer air, 

As the stockade bars were drawn, 

While the stars came out like sentinels 

To watch, till the greying dawn. 

The days passed swiftly with homely tasks, 

Mid tales of frontier lore, 

For men were daring and women brave 

In that Fort on the lonely shore. 


"fort dearborn"— 1804-1 8 I 2* 


On wide, wild sweeps of prairie, 
At the lower bend of the waters, 
A river cut through the swamp-land 
In winding and limpid beauty. 
On its banks grew the wild rank onion 
*(Cheecaqua— the Indians called it) 
And violets, blue in the springtime, 
Like the eyes of very young children. 

High on the southern embankment 
Rose a fortress of native timber, 
Square-built with a well-barred entrance; 
A garrison of the prairie. 
To the reed-lined bed of the river 
A tunnel ran from the gun room, 
For Indians roamed the lowlands 
Viewing this white race with hatred. 

Vaguely a sense of injustice 

Crept into savage bosoms, 

Slowly they met the issue . . . 

Of one race supplanting another. 

Finally . . . aided by strangers 

That came from a land o'er the ocean, 

They took up a merciless vengeance . . . 

The crushing of this new people! 

*The first Fort Dearborn was erected in 1804 by order of Thomas Jefferson. 
The French gave the place the name of "Fort Checagon." Captain John 
Whistler was the builder and first commandant of the garrison, and in 18 10 
was succeeded by Captain Nathan Weald. 



There were skies of a golden summer 
And a shore with a wind-swept face, 
The square stockade on the river's bank 
Threw shadows like ravelled lace. 
A brave gay flag, untroubled, 
Hung over the gallant band, 
As they turned grim eyes to horizons 
That met with the rim of the sand. 

There were men whipped on by terror 
As they hastened along the plain, 
With a last long look at the fortress 
They were never to see again. 
Pathetically brave they travelled 
Through marshes grey and wild, 
\\ hile calmly, above the turmoil, 
A mother sang to her child. 

There were short, swift prayers for mercy, 
That died on the tortured lips, 
I here were savages, red and warring, 
\\ ith scalps at their naked hips, 
There were muskets trampled and broken 
Where they fell from the dying hands, 
There were faces turned to the twilight 
And blood on the warm, brown sands. 

But their tears have watered the shore-bed, 
And their blood has enriched the soil, 
So that women grow brave in travail 
And men grow strong through toil. 
For courage is not mere boasting, 
Nor eulogies fanciful themes, 
And upon the graves of the martyred 
Has arisen ... a city of dreams! Chicago. 



AUGUST 1812 

Soon to the Fort at Detroit 
Came news of the British advances; 
Of the fall of northern strongholds 
Which threatened their own defenses. 
Remembering, then, Fort Dearborn, 
A runner was sent without parley 
With an order for Captain Heald 
To evacuate quickly the fortress. 

To the south . . . where neighbors dwelt safely 

Uneasiness spread like a floodtide, 

And grim Captain Wells, sensing danger, 

Left Fort Wayne's comfortable shelter 

To go to the far-distant fortress 

On Michigan's wild, blue shoreline, 

Taking several friendly Miamis 

To quell any further uprising. 

But a few hours ere he reached them, 
They started the tragic, brief journey. 
The bars of sturdy Fort Dearborn 
Were, for the last time, lowered, 
And the little company bravely 
Went on their long way . . . singing. 
Turned from the safe kind shelter 
To the tragedy that awaited! 

*Fort Mackinac, ]uly, 1812. 
* * Captain William Wells lost his life in the massacre. 



(the prayer of a soldier at dartmoor) 

We have passed through so many 
New, strange doors in brave succession! 
From chaos we have come, 
On dark, steep paths of hate and war, 
With other souls, as hopeless as our own! 

^They brought us here 
To build a church of God. 
To raise a shrine to One 
Who sees their lust for cruelty, 
And mayhap pities us our living death! 
Bear with us, lest we lose our faith, 
And sink exhausted ... at the end! 

We have been chained like beasts, 

And made to eat the bread of shame . . . 

Mouldy and crawling food. 

We have been lashed 

Until the blood ran down 

Our shrinking backs. 

We have piled rock on rock 

With broken hands, 

That these fair walls might stand 

A monument to One, 

Who likewise hung and died . . . 

Nailed by His enemies, 

Upon a cross. 

Let us pass through 
The door of patience, 
Accepting all that comes 
To try our spirit's clean ascent, 


And place our feet within the prints 

Of other pioneering steps. 

We, who have come from men of iron, 

Who held a living faith in God 

And His protective love. 

Let us not drag old hatreds hence, 

Nor dim our spiritual sight 

To man's forgiveness. 

Let us shed fear. 

As snakes their shriveled skins, 

And grow new wings 

To soar the heights. 

Let us pass through 

The door of courage, 

There to meet starvation 

And the pain of certain death. 

Each door may be far lovelier than the last, 

Wider, and higher arched 

To let star-radiance through. 

Let ours be living souls 

That cannot sleep behind sealed sepulchres, 

But Christlike, step across the stone 

To find transfiguration. 

Let us at last 

Pass through the door of death, 

Grim and mysterious and dark, 

But intimately dear. 

A portal known to us from birth 

Through which our loved ones fared. 

Hold high before our dimming eyes 

The vision of far greater worlds to come, 

New roads to traverse and explore, 

New history to be penned, 

Immortal melodies to sing, 

And deathless love at last . . . 

To understand. 


God of our souls! 

Let not our spirits fail . . . 

In this our darkest hour, 

But give us strength 

To pass these many doors . . . 

And enter through! 

*The American prisoners were taken to Dartmoor, England, where they 
were made to build the church, then under erection, under the guns of the 

The treatment of these prisoners is not a pretty story, and like all results of 
warfare, nmst he buried tinder a mantle of silence and forgweness. 


The little children tossed their ball 
Their voices raised in play, 
It fell beyond the prison wall 
That sunny autumn day. 

The guards were asked to toss it back 
But did not heed the call, 
So carefully the children dug a hole 
Beneath the wall. 

A little hole . . . but British guards 
The simple act abused. 
Of trying to escape that way . . . 
The prisoners were accused. 

A massacre of many men! 

A slaughter ghastly red! 

While all the children wandered home 

And safely went to bed. 

So many soldiers paid with lives 
For one small bouncing ball, 
That little children in their play 
Had tossed beyond the wall! 



A quiet village it is, 

That lies at the bend of the valley, 

Quiet with just that peace 

That speaks of love and contentment. 

Of plenty, of simple demands, 

Of gentle desires and dreaming, 

Unknown to the clamorous mob; 

The feverish rush of the cities. 

A village where age is respected, 

Where youth is encouraged in wisdom, 

Where motherhood lifts her head 

With pride and tender devotion. 

A calm little English town, 

Wide-known for its charm and its beauty, 

Where many have journeyed and met 

To bask in its gentle contentment. 

And calm, in its age and its peace, 

Stands the stone-walled church of the village. 

Lofty its tower and bell, 

And colorful all its windows. 

Arched is its gate, and wide, 

That opens into the graveyard, 

Bearing the simple reminder . . . 

Inscribed for posterity's reading . . . 

That American prisoners here 

Were buried within its shelter; 

That together they here do sleep, 

One dust mingling now with the other. 

Many are they who come 

From the sister land o'er the ocean, 

Standing in awe beside 

The graves, deep sunk in the clover. 

Tranquility only, remains 


In the quiet village of Dartmoor, 
Under the grey-walled church, 
That was built by American soldiers! 



"Upon a little hill" 

They called the wooded space 

That sloped toward the banks 

To meet Potomac's soft embrace. 

"What folly!" many cried 

In wild hysteria, 

"To move the Nation's Capitol 

From Philadelphia!" 

"Upon a little hill" 

They built the stately hall, 

And some there were who watched in fear 

And prophesied its fall. 

"A little too far west!" 

Toward the setting sun, 

Yet soon how far the bound'rics spread 

From this same Washington! 

"A palace in the woods"— 

The doubters all exclaimed, 

But soon from sea to sea they heard 

Its loveliness acclaimed. 

"A jewel in the wilds" 

'Twas named in utter scorn. 

Today what worthier diadem 

On nation's brow is worn? 


"Upon a little hill" 

So many things can be. 

A new Transfiguration 

Or perhaps . . . Gethsemane. 

Oh, happy realm of sovereign States . . . 

Yet but one Nation still . . . 

God bless the wise, far-seeing men, 

Who built you ... on that hill! 

*When the Capitol was moved from Philadelphia to Washington, many 
predicted that the move would he a failure. 


Along the midnight blue of star-lit space, 
A regal Empress rides her steed of light, 
And far across the long aisles of the night, 
Is idly flung her train of silver lace. 
It softly falls on earth's uplifted face 
Like glist'ning feathers from a bird in flight, 
Until, upon the waters, broad and bright, 
It sinks, to find a final resting place. 

Oh, you who tread along this radiant way, 

That beckons t'ward a wild, unknown delight, 

Take your brief hour . . . before the brazen day 

Dispels the subtle mysteries of night! 

For day's realities come all too soon, 

When you must lose the magic of the moon. 



It stood in the path 

Of the march to Washington. 

So many famous roads have led 
Through less important towns. 
So many villages of peace 
Lie on the way to war. 
All modest hamlets cannot be 
A Rome— or Athens— or a Troy. 

The desecration of a helpless town; 
The ruining of homes, 
The needless useless waste of 
Non-combatant lives— to no advantage- 
Is the crushing of a butterfly 
When one is searching 
For an eagle. 

But Bladensburg did what it could! 
It rallied to defense— 
A pitifully weak resistance, 
But a valiant attempt 
To stem the tide. And the British- 
Sweeping ahead with scorn- 
Pushed aside the feeble stand of soldiery, 
And entered the larger city 
Of Washington! 

* General Ross marched toward the city, and was met by forces from the 
British fleet under Admiral Cockbnrn. 


AUGUST 24, 1814 

A spacious home . . . 

Fragrant with garden flowers, 

And rare old furniture, 

Daily polished,— and with candlewax. 

Evening, with its time for calm; 

Its hour for family gathering, 

On hearth, or wide, white gallery, 

Or 'round a table spread, with always 

One more place for peradventure guest. 

A sudden shouting in the streets! 
The rush of frantic guards! 
*A President— whose death might mean 
Catastrophe to his Republic- 
Speeding swiftly away under cover 
Of his horsemen's ranks. 


A wife, still waiting 
Till a few rare things she loved 
Were gathered hurriedly. 
An order to her servants- 
Portraits cut from frames and wrapped, 
Silver that lay scattered, safely stored 
Within the vehicle that waited. 
Then, with a courage and calm that only women 
Like a Marie Antoinette or Mary Tudor 
Of the Scottish throne could understand, 
She slipped away through streets 
Alive with soldiers of the enemy, 
Accompanied only by her household's terrified 
Menage, into the darkness of the night! 

* James Madison. 

* Dolly Madison. 



The dinner of Madison waited 
In the President's house that night, 
On linen, snowy and shining, 
In the mellowing candle light. 

There might have been biscuits and honey, 
And chicken— tender and brown, 
While the mistress who graced her table 
Wore a wide-spread silken gown. 

There might have been Southern waffles, 
Or dumplings, feath'ry and fat, 
Historians never ventured 
To say a word about that. 

But I'm sure the dinner was tempting 
And ready for all to begin, 
When the startled family scattered, 
*As the British Commander walked in! 

He might have preferred Yorkshire puddin' 
Or other fine English food, 
But a Mammy cook had that dinner to make, 
So I wager he found it good! 

No praises we have for his actions, 

For only contempt could we feel, 

But I hope, eer he burned down the mansion, 

That at least he enjoyed his meal! 

* Admiral Cockburn. 



The Admiral of the fleet 

That lay in neighboring waters, 

Paid an unannounced call that evening 

At the House of Representatives. 

He sprang to the Speakers chair, 

And with mockery, shouted his question,— 

"Shall this harbor of Yankee Democracy 

Burn? All in favor, say 'Aye!' " 

And the British, there gathered, responded 

With an "Aye" that rose to the heavens! 

Then straightway a torch was applied 
And the red glare of flames soon lightened 
The stricken streets of the city, 
Where a people fled in their terror. 
The Capitol— Home of the President— 
And all the official buildings 
Soon were a blazing furnace 
That roared in savage defiance! 

What could a few flames do 
To destroy the soul of a people? 
Cities might fall, but the Nation 
Still would be standing inviolate. 
If, in its deathless faith, 
The life is firm and deep-rooted. 
Blossoms and leaves may die,— 
But roots in the soil are immortal! 

* Washington ("Even nature mourned over the destruction of this beautiful 



The banners of crepe hang heavy 
Where once flew fingers of flame, 
For the tree-tops are bent in sorrow 
And soft winds whisper a name. 

No other than well-loved "Dolly"— 
A woman long old and grey, 
Till death claimed a dearer affection 
And quietly took her away. 

Have you seen the pomp and the splendor 
Of the soldier) 7 marching along? 
The young who remember her courage, 
And the old who remembered her song? 

Have you seen the President's cortege, 
With his Cabinet— one and all— 
And the Senate, sedately driving 
Down the Avenue from the Mall, 

Have you noticed the royal regalia 
Of the smart diplomatic corps, 
And the foreign Ambassadors, eager 
To show their respect once more? 

Have vou watched the highest officials 
Of the Army and Navy, en masse, 
And the black-robed, silent figures 
Of the solemn Supreme Court pass? 

Have you seen the color and pageant 
Of the funeral Washington gave, 
With the clergy and white-robed choirs 
Following to the grave? 


There has never been known such splendor 
The oldest of patriarchs said, 
"Why, th' whole of th' Nation is mournin, 
'Cause Dolly Madison's dead!" 

* No other woman had received the honors that were conferred upon Mrs. 
Madison. It was considered that she had saved the administration, and she was 
voted a seat in the House, after her husband's death. She held an enviable 
social position, and her influence was felt in all parts of the government. 


Was it for naught . . . 
That Washington and Pierre FEnfant- 
French engineer- 
Saw visions of a noble Capitol, 
Within the "ten mile square" 
Along the banks of the Potomac? 

Was it for naught . . . 
That ten years later 
Wooden shacks first housed 
The Governmental staff 
Along the muddy road — now 
Pennsylvania Avenue? 



THE FLAG OF 1812' 


The fifteen broad stripes 

And the fifteen bright stars 

Swept out on the cool morning breeze, 

From old Fort McHenry's 

Embattled grey towers 

Mid ancient and wondering trees. 

What is this new thing 

Of red and of white, 

And of blue, with a star-vision seeming, 

That even stern eyes 

Dimmed quickly with tears 

To see it "so gallantly streaming'? 

A challenge to men 
Who saw it first rise, 
Unfolding before their keen sight, 
nspiring a pen 
In loyalty dipped, 
To write "by the dawn's early light"! 

Why was the new faith 

So embodied that hour 

In the heart of a patriot dreaming, 

That wherever men walked 

Down the aisles of the years, 

It would wave "at the twilight's last gleaming"? 

Such a Faith would wave over 

The fever-bred swamps, 

It would wave over ships of the Nation, 

It would wave over crosses 

In far-distant France, 

In spite of a "war's desolation"! 


To the fifteen broad stripes 
And the fifteen bright stars, 
Must go then, a new consecration. 
With the War 1812 
Came . . . like wings of the dawn . . . 
The anthem sublime of the Nation. 

For posterity's future . . . 

In years that shall come . . . 

This emblem eternal engrave 

On the hearts of the people 

Who live— "O'er the land 

Of the free, and the home of the brave." 

*The flag of fifteen stars and fifteen stripes was known as the flag of 18 li- 
lt was made by Mrs. Mary Pickersgill of Baltimore, assisted by her daughter 
and niece, in her little home now known as The Flag House. 

**lt was this flag, which was flying over Fort McHenry, that Francis Scott 
Key saw, inspiring the writing of The Star Spangled Banner. 


Should blossoms lose their fragrance, 
And bells forget their chime, 
They'll still remember New Orleans 
In some far-distant time. 

Though seas might ease their restlessness 
When tawny sunset dips, 
They'll still remember fighting 
With a challenge on their lips. 

Some may denounce the battle there, 
As useless strife and death,— 
They'll still revere the echo 
Of War's last triumph breath! 

* Not one of the historians have called the Battle of New Orleans a useless 
fight, for it gave a high morale to the army, and a triumph in its anti-climax 
of victory. 


SEPT. 13, 1814 

Following flame and confusion, 
Smoke-blackened ruins and ashes, 
After the tragic disaster 
That levelled the Capitol city, 
The British— drunken with triumph- 
To Baltimore, turned their attention. 
Turned from the bleak, wild chaos, 
That once had been stretches of beauty, 
Turned from a frightened people 
*Who had watched the ruthless destruction. 

Up from the Chesapeake waters 
The forces and fleet of the British — 
Who had ordered the Capitol's burning- 
Came to Baltimore's stronghold. 
Turning their guns' swift volley 
On the walls of Fortress McHenry, 
Knowing it stood like a rock 
To guard the streets of the city, 
Manned by Maryland men— 
The strength and pride of the people. 

All through the long, dark night, 

They battered the Fort's position, 

Shrill through the air, the bombs 

Burst, with echoes resounding. 

Hammered with shot and shell 

Were the staunch, grey walls of McHenry, 

While in the streets of the city 

The people gathered and waited. 

Would it— oh, could it— hold out? 

Or in the last moment surrender? 


All through that night a ^prisoner- 
Held on an enemy's vessel- 
Watched his beloved flag 
Fly from the Fort's grey turret. 
Seeing, at each swift flash 
From "the rocket's red glare" above him, 
The colors so "gallantly streaming," 
Amid all the flames and the shelling. 
Knowing that loyal brave men 
Were defending their Country's fair emblem. 

And in the morning hours, 
The British— baffled and beaten- 
Sailed down the Chesapeake Bay, 
Leaving the Fort still standing. 
Slowly the vessels withdrew, 
And somewhere, a prisoner watching, 
Drew from his pocket a paper 
And scribbled some verses upon it. 
Wrote through his happy tears 
The lines that would ring down the ages! 

* "Few more shameful acts are recorded in our history," on the burning of 
Washington— From Green's History of the English People. 
** Francis Scott Key. 




New Orleans was the next objective 
Of General Pakenham's manuevers 
With an army of over six thousand 
He sailed for the Crescent City. 
Arriving in Mississippi 
He moved southwest of the river, 
A scant few miles from New Orleans 
On the twenty-third day of December. 

But Jackson, at the head of his army, 

Had prepared a pitiless welcome, 

And at early dawn near the bayou, 

Attacked the British with fury. 

Seeing his best men waver, 

Pakenham tried to rally, 

But before they could reassemble 

He was killed, and his army surrendered. 

During the swift fierce battle, 
America lost but a handful, 
But the enemy's dead amounted 
To over twenty-six hundred 
Pride was in Andrew Jackson's 
Wild, free heart at the victory, 
Knowing not they had won it 
* After the War had been ended! 

* The Treaty of Ghent in Belgium— December 24, 18 14. 

It often took even the fastest sailing vessels a month or six weeks to cross 
the Atlantic, so that the news that the Treaty had been signed and the War of 
1 8 1 2 vjos over, did not reach Washington until several weeks after Jackson's 
victory at New Orleans. 



He left to us . . . 

Bright memories of youth, 

Of happy lips that sing, 

Of bird on early wing, 

A heart for all the loveliness 

In nature and in humankind, 

A fresh sweet joy, that we can find 

Because he loved the spring. 

He left to us . . . 

Tranquility of mind, 

To bear and not complain 

Of cloud or sudden rain, 

A legacy of fearlessness, 

A love for others, calm, secure, 

And hearts that cheerfully endure 

Because he knew life's pain. 

He left to us . . . 

A fortitude of soul. 

New courage for each day, 

And confidence to pray. 

A strength to bear each heavy load, 

To brave each unknown, weary road, 

To reap the harvest he has sowed 

Where he has blazed the way! 


(the war widow) 

I never say . . . "My love, I have lost you!" 
I feel you near, as you would wish me to, 
And cover all my grief with heartsease . . . 

. . . and with rue! 

I find each hour, a balm in living things. 
Our baby's laugh, a vine that softly clings, 
A birdling flying home on joyous . . . 

. . . fluttering wings 

I smile each day . . . because you loved my smile, 
And journey on, each quickly passing mile, 
Knowing we two shall meet . . . 

... in just a little while. 


To the very wise . . . 
There is no fear in death, 
No darkness, no defeat. 
The soldier does not fall, 
But with a myriad of comrades 
Marches on! 

Legions have gone before, 
With step triumphant. 
Companions loved, now far advanced 
Upon the self-same road. 

And with the night, 
Earth's battles all are fought, 
Each met . . . and won. 
Even the last grim enemy 
Is overcome! 


Then why dread trails 

Courageous men have trod? 

Why fear a darkness 

Blazed by pioneers? 

Why shrink, a weak deserter, 

From the ranks, 

When God's own cross of war 

Will blaze upon your breast, 

And well-earned peace awaits you 

At the dawn? 


Behind Death's silent, shuttered door, 

My soldier son, 

The world can strike and bruise no more, 

The evil that men plot to do, 

Those warring deeds of sullen brew, 

Shall never more reach out to you . . . 

My soldier son. 

You'll never know how lips can lie, 

My soldier son,— 

Nor how much sin bright gold can buy. 

You'll never sight a goal . . . and miss, 

Nor find that cheer may turn to hiss, 

Nor feel the Judas in a kiss . . . 

My soldier son. 

And when life's journey ends for me, 

My soldier son, 

And in that calm new joy I see 

Upon what gentle paths you fared, 

Still young . . . still brave . . . still golden haired, 

I may thank God that you were spared! 

My soldier son! 



I saw a soldier— grizzled— old- 
Like withered leaf on broken stem, 
Reach out and grasp the passing flag 
And kiss its hem! 

"Old man," I cried with reverent voice, 
"Whence came such faith and holy trust?" 
"From those," he said, "whose names shall live 
When we are dust!" 

I saw a young man touch his cap. 
"And whom do you salute this day, 
When loyalty and sterling worth 
Seem but decay?" 

He sternly spoke, "Oh, fool, be still! 
How can this upward-groping mass 
Live on, if all our clean ideals 
Are let to pass?" 

I saw great cities by the seas . . . 

Vast farmlands . . . rivers blocked with trade . . . 

And listened, while a mighty host 

Their tribute paid. 

"And whom do you give honor to? 

Tell me, oh men?" I humbly said. 

The answer of the centuries rolled . . . 

"Our soldier dead!" 



SINCE 1814 



We must be true . . . 

We who have come 

From fearless ancestry, 

From men who chose to trek 

Across a roadless waste 

And clashed with brutal savage 

On the way, 

Yet dared remain 

To risk a crimson death. 

And let us not recoil 

From burdens still to lift 

Or shrink from further pain. 

We, in whose veins 

The red blood runs 

Of dauntless pioneers, 

Who, with great faith, 

Established in this land 

Fair cities, peaceful homes, 

And found it good 

To live therein! 

We must be brave . . . 

We who arose 

From ashes of the flames 

That once burned Washington, 

And leveled homes, 

And tore our temples down 

That pointed skyward 

Trustingly and sure. 

Let us not brush 

These memories aside, 

In our security and peace, 

But with a fearlessness 

Of purpose, plan against 


The coming years. 

We who rose phoenix-wise 

From many wars, salved wounds, 

Fed mouths, clothed naked backs, 

And built again 

With fortitude 

Our Nation's gates! 

We must be strong . . . 

And steadfast . . . and imbued 

With that white fire 

Of sanity, that burns away 

All dross and leaves us fine. 

And let it not be said 

That we are lacking truth 

And patriotic faith, 

Nor that our blood runs white 

From fear or apathy. 

Oh, God! Let us not blindly 

For a mess of pottage 

Sell this birthright of a Nation 

Thou hast given! 

But having honor 

And the consciousness of right, 

Hold to all things worth while, 

And build, not for our vanity, 

But for our children, and our soul's 

Eternal good! 



What is the red in your stripes so bright . . . 

Flag of my Land? 

That stood for the patriot's trust and might, 

His sword for the right, 

His face to the light . . . 

Flag of my Land? 

'Tis the valiant blood from the battlefield, 
Long since spilled . . . and long since healed, 
By the dead and the living firmly sealed . . . 
Men of my Land! 

What is the white with its unsmirched fold . . . 

Flag of my Land? 

That flung on the breeze when the drum-beats rolled, 

With challenges bold, 

The Right to uphold . . . 

Flag of my Land? 

'Tis the fine clean hearts of the pioneers, 
And the stars are the gleaming print of tears, 
That followed their footsteps across the years . . . 
Men of my Land! 

What is the blue that encircles them there . . . 

Flag of my Land? 

That binds men's souls with a courage rare, 

For youth to dare, 

With a mother's prayer . . . 

Flag of my Land? 

'Tis a history page of many a name, 
That gave to our States their rightful fame, 
In a land that has never bowed in shame . . . 
Men of my Land! 


Then how can we hold to these things that be . . . 

Flag of my Land? 

And what is your greatest need of me, 

On land or sea, 

For liberty . . . 

Flag of my Land? 

You must sow new faith in your native sod, 
Uphold my honor and cry it abroad, 
Fighting for me . . . and your country's God . . . 
Men of my Land! 

*Flag of My Land has been set to music by feanne Boyd as a patriotic 
anthem. Copyrighted by H. T. VitzSimons Co., Inc. 


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